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One could say that the steady stream of new iPhone applications since June has created a lot of noise within the App Store. Now there’s an app that literally lets you create noise. It’s kind of pointless, but also kind of cool and beautiful. And it’ll get some buzz simply because of who made it: The father of ambient music, Brian Eno.
The application is very simple. You start it up and it asks you if you’d like to listen or create music. Even if you choose to listen, you can add your own twist to the music. Making the music is as simple as tapping the screen, which releases a note and puts a colorful circle on the screen where you hit. If you want more noise, tap faster. You can also change the “mood” of the notes in the option menu.
The application is actually a collaboration between Eno and musician/software designer Peter Chilvers (the best name in ambient music, I think). Eno, who is also known for producing popular albums by artists like U2, Talking Heads and Coldplay, has a long history of using technology to experiment with his music, as The Apple Blog notes.
Eno describes Bloom as “an endless music machine, a music box for the 21st century.” That’s true on a certain rudimentary level, but on another it’s just another neat way to show off the iPhone’s touch capabilities and high resolution display.
Unfortunately, Bloom also broke my iPhone 3G briefly. I would advise against trying to take a screenshot of Bloom while it’s playing music. After I did that I could not quit the app — it just kept on playing. When I hit the button to lock it and turn off the screen it stopped, but when I turned it back on, Bloom was still open playing that beautiful ambient music — which had suddenly become very annoying (funny how that happens).
A hard reset of the device fixed things, but it took a few minutes to reboot. I’ll cut Eno and Chilvers some slack though — their app is brand new, and plenty of brand new apps have bugs.
Bloom is available in the App Store for $3.99. Below is a quick video I took of me playing with it in a coffee shop (sorry about the background noise).
Bloom Video from MG Siegler on Vimeo.
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