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U2 producer creates new iPad 'Scape'

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 02:39

Oct. 10 - Celebrated music producer Brian Eno explains why his newest release 'Scape', which comes in the form of an iPad app, will change the way people make and listen to music. Matt Cowan reports.

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Brian Eno is one of the world's most sought after music producers. He's helped to craft some of the most successful and influential albums of modern times with acts such as U2, Coldplay, Talking Heads and David Bowie. But his newest release Scape - which comes in the form of an app for the iPad goes beyond anything he's done before. SOUNDBITE: Brian Eno, Scape co-creator, saying (English) "In the Scape app, there are two things inside it, one is an album that we made using the app itself, so someone could just listen to this as an album but it wouldn't be the same as a normal album because it doesn't play the same time each time you listen to it. On the other hand, there is the capacity to use the same technology we use to make your own version of an album. That could be quite different than what we made. It might be quite similar too." The Scape app is the latest result of a collaboration that started with the videogame Spore. That title by the creator of The Sims, Will Wright put game players in charge of creating their own worlds, beginning with the origins of life. The game needed a soundtrack that could evolve along with the world in the game. It was then that Eno was first introduced to Peter Chilvers, a musician and software engineer. In the app, listeners are presented with a visual palette. Each shape, or background represents a sound, some with additional and unpredictable characteristics. SOUNDBITE: Peter Chilvers, Scape co-creator saying (English): "And there's quite a large range of sounds here. In fact there's such a large range of sounds we had to make them unlock very slowly. We borrowed an idea that games had been using for a very long-time in fact. Computer games typically if they've got a lot of features they will drip feed these to you, so you'll get one level at a time, one new weapon if it's that kind of game. We found that was very useful in Scape because initially it was just overwhelming." SOUNDBITE: Brian Eno, Scape co-creator, saying (English) "Instead of it being a piece of architecture, it's like a packet of seeds. So you're a gardener rather than an architect. Your planting something and seeing how it grows rather than trying to completely constrain it and know every detail of it." Exactly what Scape will sound like in the hands of listeners is impossible to predict, but of course that's precisely the point. Matt Cowan, Reuters

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U2 producer creates new iPad 'Scape'

Wednesday, October 10, 2012 - 02:39