Eno Generates iPad Composition

Brian Eno is credited with inventing the genre of ambient music, but he has really been more focused on the concept of generative music – from software such as KOAN to other rule-based generative systems across a variety of platforms, he now takes it to the iPad with a new app called Scape…

From Bloom To Landscape

Eno has already been involved in launching an iOS app called Bloom, which provided an interactive ambient soundscape environment. His new project, called Scape, has taken this idea much further.

Eno has always liked the idea of breaking music free from the traditional format – where the composition is exactly the same each time you listen to it – to a much more fluid entity. In such a model, you offer certain suggestions, or define a starting point combined with a set of progression rules, and the music then evolves according to those parameters.

Eno devised Scape in conjunction with Peter Chilvers, the same pairing behind Bloom in 2008, but there is much more scope for experimentation and development in the new app. As they reveal in this Guardian interview, “Suddenly you had the possibility of people being able to own the process rather than the results of the process.”

This democratisation of music is – to some extent – based on the notion that we all have music in us; it’s just a case of encouraging it, breaking down barriers and allowing people to realise they can interact with and, on some level at least, create their own music. Of course, not everyone wants to be a musician, but this may prove to be a useful and new type of musical experience that bends our perceptions of what music is, and redefines our relationship to it.


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