His ambient works make use of two techniques, both of which can be used to create a constant stream of new music:
- Eno’s earlier ambient music made frequent use of long, asynchronous loops, using sounds that would mesh together in musical ways, no matter how they coincided in time.
- Much of Eno’s later ambient music makes use of probabilistic events, where he arranges a group of sound events that work together and controls the probability and frequency of each type of event happening.
With his latest album, Reflection, Eno is going beyond traditional formats and simultaneously releasing the album as an iOS and Apple TV application. Reflection translates the same generative processes that he’s used previously into software, so that the app can play forever, always creating a new version of the work.
Here’s what Eno has to say about the Reflection app:
REFLECTION is the most recent of my Ambient experiments and represents the most sophisticated of them so far.
My original intention with Ambient music was to make endless music, music that would be there as long as you wanted it to be. I wanted also that this music would unfold differently all the time – ‘like sitting by a river’: it’s always the same river, but it’s always changing.
But recordings – whether vinyl, cassette or CD – are limited in length, and replay identically each time you listen to them. So in the past I was limited to making the systems which make the music, but then recording 30 minutes or an hour and releasing that.
REFLECTION in its album form – on vinyl or CD – is like this. But the app by which REFLECTION is produced is not restricted: it creates an endless and endlessly changing version of the piece of music.
- iPad 3
- iPhone 5
- iPad mini 2
- AppleTV (4th generation)
Pricing and Availability
Reflection is available for US $39.99 in the App Store. If you’ve used Reflection, share your thoughts on it in the comments.