Ingenuity With Music Apps
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Out of Belgium, is a team of native Belgians, who have put their brains together, in essence to enhance the utility of music apps, beyond what is possible as you read this. This team of musicians headquartered as it were at the famed Soulwax radio-station, are of the mind that you can interact more in real time, with your favorite music as you listen to it. There is already a couple of music apps for ipad in the works, and here is the intriguing story of human ingenuity as technology dances to the music. "The first generation of music apps based on artists tended to be purely promotional. There was talk of this being a new way to engage with fans on a more personal level, but usually that translated as just another channel to tell them to buy gig tickets and iTunes downloads, watch YouTube videos, and follow tweets.
The second generation of artist apps is already looking more interesting, particularly for artists who are creatively engaged with the interactive possibilities of apps. Today's release of the Radio Soulwax app for iPhone and iPad, and also Bjork's upcoming Biophilia project, are good examples.
Belgian duo Soulwax (also known as 2 Many DJs) have apparently been working on their app for two years with a team of people: its App Store listing credits an art director, executive producer, musical assistant, five vinyl encoders and the app designer.
The app sits alongside the Radio Soulwax website, which has 24 one-hour mixes with accompanying visuals – "we call them mixes, but in reality they are more like musical films based on the record sleeves," explains the App Store listing. A new show will be added every week in the coming months, promising a deep dive into Soulwax's record collection.
Users can choose to stream the mixes to their iOS device, or download them. The former is likely to be more popular however: the download of the first mix, Introversy, weighs in at 537MB. The app is free to download and use, presented as a labour of love rather than a commercial endeavour.
"We grew up surrounded by our dad's extensive record collection and many of our earliest memories are of record sleeves, so it only makes sense that we made this tribute to that forgotten art form, albeit in a very digital way," continues the listing.
As for Bjork, the iPad apps for Biophilia are not available yet, but their release is imminent. They will take the form of ten apps – one per song on the Biophilia album – sitting under what's described as a "mother app" to provide a central point of access.
"The layers of content in each app include: an interactive game based on the song's scientific and musical subject matter, a musical animation of the song, an animated score, lyrics, and an academic essay," explains a statement released as a teaser for the apps.
"The game enables the user to interact with musical elements of the song and to learn about different musical features while creating their own version; the musical animation and animated music score bring together conventional and innovative ways of representing music visually; and the academic essay explores the ideas behind each song and app and how they are realized musically."
What the Radio Soulwax and Bjork app projects share is creative engagement from the artists, working with developers, interactive designers and visual artists. Just for the fans? Perhaps, but they are two more steps along the road to finding out how tablets and smartphones may change the way we experience music".
Indeed, it looks as though we have just scratched the surface as regards the potential possibilities of what human creativity can produce in the realm of music apps, not to forget of course, that it is the ipad at center stage. Follow up that scoop here - http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/appsblog/2011/jun/30/radio-soulwax-iphone-ipad-app