Brian Eno has changed the musical world forever. Not bad for a person who does not claim to be a musician at all.
"Bloom is an endless music machine, a music box for the 21st century. You can play it, or you can watch it play itself."
"Inspiration is cheap. Bliss is expensive."
This is bliss for your iPhone and it's cheap, but I digress.
Brian Eno is a genius.
Eno has changed the course of music in the 20th and now in the 21st century. Most musos would agree that that is now fact. He was a vital part of glam rock, invented ambient music and brought it to popular music status, is responsible for the careers and reputations of countless influential bands (Talking Heads and U2 among them), is world renown for his innovative studio production, and has influenced the visual arts with his interactive installations. He's simply a giant of our time.
Plus, he's really funny.
Eno has been my musical north star ever since Evening Star, the second album he wrote with guitarist Robert Fripp. In short, he is a very special figure in my personal musical development and thinking.
That's why I was delighted to learn that Eno and collaborator Peter Chilvers have three new apps for iPhone available from iTunes. These fall under yet another innovative idea: generative music. I debated whether or not to get these, but I tend to buyer's regret in reverse. That is, I end up not buying them and then regretting it. I was not going to let these Eno gems get away.
Eno and Chilvers have done all the work for you. You just have to play. Or choose not to. It's all good.
Bloom is creative, relaxing and fun. I plug in ear buds and listen (and touch) as I drive. This keeps my stress levels low. I do not watch the screen. : )
Bloom does what it says: you can create or you can just listen. Turn it on and soft piano like synth sounds begin to hover. Touch the screen and a single note sounds and a corresponding circle forms like a water drop which continues out until it fades. It's very Zen-like. Do something or not, it matters not. Bloom offers some parameters for the user, such as selection of sounds, time of delay and even a practical sleep timer.
Trope is the darker counterpart to Bloom. Trace your fingers on the screen and complex synths come to life. The images fade and then reappear. This is so cool.
Trope seems to be more advanced than Bloom in some ways. The sounds, more akin to Neroli, are more complex and the images vary a lot more. A good companion in a noisy, crazy world.
Air by Peter Chilvers and Sandra O'Brien based on Eno's Music for Airports.
Discover a new version of Music for Airports with the Air app.
Air is like your personal mixing station of Music for Airports. Peter Chilvers and Irish singer Sandra O'Neill have taken the basic concepts of Eno's seminal ambient work and placed them at your fingertips and imagination.
In short, I like all three, but you may just want to try them one at a time. Think about it: an automatic composing machine or a creative outlet or some background music? It's up to you.
I do recommend headphones (or ear buds) or a speaker system to fully appreciate these magic apps.
Sometimes in Zen
we say, "Do nothing."
But, in doing nothing,
everything is done.