Generative Art

            Brian Eno is probably one of the best known Generative artists of our time; many may not know his name, but have probably heard some of his music, whether designed, performed or produced. Brian Eno was approached by Microsoft in 1994 to compose music for the Windows 95 project. The six-second long Windows start-up “tune” was the result of his work. In recent years, Mr. Eno has collaborated with other and performed and produced with musical products and he is often referred to as the creator or father of ambient music. Brian Eno partnered with Peter Chilvers and produced the iPhone application “Bloom” as a result.
            Bloom is an application that appears to have generative properties in that there appears to be parameters established for a range of notes and tones that can be created and played by an individual touching the iPhone screen. I do not have an iPhone and cannot try this application out for myself, or give a full review of the capabilities for the application. I can say that various clips that can be found on YouTube, and I found the concept to be interesting, to say the least. Bloom appears to have two basic modes to use: “Listen” and “Create.” I’m assuming the “Listen” mode generates some type of randomized music that might remind one of wind chimes on a synthesized piano, and that the music shouldn’t be identical to any music previously heard through the application. The “Create” mode appears to replicate a user’s touch of the iPhone screen to notes that are played, repeated several times as the note or series of notes fades away, and accompanied by some colorful graphic displays of various colors appearing and fading at the points the screen was touched.
            If I had an iPhone, this might be one of the few applications I would try and acquire. In the “Create” mode, I doubt anyone could accurately duplicate a tune or melody; each note produced by a touch might only be a few pixels of separation, if not only one pixel per note. It would appear that no matter how hard one tried, short of actually recording a creation, an exact replication could not be reproduced. In a world where some have said all the great music has already been written, Bloom could stand as a beginning to widespread personal access to a simple and easy to use generative music creator.

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