yeah, my plan was to look into porting the note grid / pattern recorder portion to ansible after i finish a couple of smaller things that i'm working on right now. i have a month long trip coming up in a month too, so this will push things as well, likely it'll be 2-3 months before anything happens (and orca port is lower in priority - still planning it but i really want to work on new things! having said that who knows, maybe i'll get impatient and do a weekend porting marathon...)
i still don't have earthsea so my understanding of it is limited, so correct me if this is wrong but in theory you'd only need ansible to communicate when a shape is triggered, and TXi/teletype could do the rest without any custom i2c code? the only problem is ansible not being a master - this can still be addressed with a super fast M script polling ansible, although it would be nice to find a way for ansible to trigger tt scripts without tying ansible gate outputs. this necessitates making ansible a 2nd master though, which might introduce more i2c issues.
edit: realized the previous paragraph doesn't provide enough context - so i was thinking that you wouldn't use ansible outputs for CV shapes, but instead you would use ansible/grid to play notes and trigger CV shapes and then use teletype to output CV shapes - this would give you 4 additional outputs and the flexibility on how to enter CV shapes - could be TXi, could be TT patterns, could be another ansible connected to TT in Levels or Cycles mode.