I seem to have a large number of projects that are slowly edging to completion, all waiting for that last, and most difficult 10%. Specifically:
- A new generative app for the iPhone and iPad.
- A mini album recorded with Sandra O’Neill, and mystery special guest.
- An album with Tim Bowness and Mike Bearpark, reworking twenty year old tracks from their former band Plenty.
- An updated CD version of the second A Marble Calm album, Blue Turns to Grey, originally released on vinyl.
A number of other apps are in development as well, although it’s too early yet to tell which, if any, will make it into full release. I don’t think working on so many things in parallel is helping. I’m trying to finish them one at a time now – I miss actually releasing things!
One album however, has been completed: ‘Small Craft on a Milk Sea’ by Brian Eno with Leo Abrahams and Jon Hopkins is already out in the US and Japan, and coming out shortly in the UK. I’ve been credited as ‘Recording Supervisor and Sonic Archivist’. More on that later…
I’ve provided three new instrumental tracks for Galactica HD, an iPad version of Galactica, written by my friend Robin Charlton and originally released on the iPhone last year.
“The sort of app the iPhone was made for.” 148 Apps
In addition to all of the features of the original iPhone version, the iPad version supports VGA output, and an auto-play mode that lets you sit back and enjoy the trippy visuals without even straining an index finger. There’s also an option to download the three tracks from the iPhone version.
I enjoyed the challenge of writing music for this app again. There’s a specific feel it seems to demand – spacious (well, duh, it’s in space) but with a quiet energy as well, a sense that something big is going to happen. I don’t think I’d have created these tracks without that purpose to aim for.
It also gave me an excuse to play with some new toys, as I’d just taken delivery of Native Instruments “Komplete 7”, an overwhelming feast of synthesisers, sample libraries and effects.
That leads to me to reason #769 for loving my iPad: I’ve transferred all the documentation for Komplete 7 onto iBooks. As is common with most software these days, the documentation is provided as PDFs. This is just as well with Komplete 7, as I would need to build a new extension onto my house if they were physical copies. Viewing PDF documentation has always been a bit of a pain on laptop though, as typically the document obscures the actual software you’re working on. Having the documents alongside on an iPad makes the whole process workable at last. I strongly recommend considering getting one if you use a lot of documentation. End of commercial.
Bloom HD, the iPad version of Bloom, created with Brian Eno was released in May, and became the #1 selling music app on the iPad in the US, the UK and Japan. Although the main functionality is unchanged, the app has been given a completely new interface design (thanks to Brett Gilbert, who was also involved in our other apps). We’re really pleased with it – I think it’s a more immersive experience altogether on a larger screen.
Bloom HD (iPad application)
I completed most of the development in Brighton, where Brian had been invited to be Guest Artistic Director. As with the Luminous Festival in Sydney the previous year, I was assisting Brian on the Pure Scenius and Tales of the Afterlives performances. I had thought both had been one-offs; it was fantastic to see them performed again from ringside seat. Other highlights of the festival included Before I Sleep, which transformed a vast derelict superstore into an interpretation of Chekov’s Cherry Orchard, Ice Breaker‘s live soundtrack to Apollo and an Afro Beat workout from Seun Kuti.
I also enjoyed one too many cooked breakfasts by the sea.
As I’ve managed a steady rate of one update a year recently, I thought it was time I replaced my old site with a blog, in the hope that I’ll keep on top of it more. I’ve quite a bit to catch up on, so I won’t try and do it all in one hit. I’ll probably also change the look of the site more frequently than my socks over the coming weeks, so please accept my apologies for any disorientation or nausea.
Forthcoming posts will detail: Bloom HD, Brian Eno’s forthcoming release on Warp, new albums with Alias Grace, Tim Bowness and Mike Bearpark, plus several other things I’ve not yet thought of…
Thanks for tuning in.