Next in line after Bjork showing the music industry that apps are our friends are brothers Hays and Ryan Holladay, who, together, form the DC-based band BLUEBRAIN. Last week they released Listen to the Light, the second in a series of what they’re calling “location-aware albums,” this one specifically designed to be listened to while wandering around Central Park. Using the iPhone’s GPS function, the music adapts according to where you are in the park, i.e. gets really noisy if you’re walking through a heavily treed area, smooths out when you come upon a clearing, etc. So, like a “choose your own adventure” novel but with crazy amounts of cellos (up to 40, according to the video above) to create an immersive, all-senses-on-deck experience.
I can’t even begin to wrap my mind around how this works on a compositional level, much less a technological one, but the video above attempting to explain it is worth your time — it puts just how cool this thing is in perspective. Sharing a similar sensibility to The Creators Project (the folks behind those Arcade Fire beach balls at Coachella and interactive music video for “We Used to Wait”), BLUEBRAIN is, if nothing else, taking an inspiring stab at showing that technology doesn’t have to be an “interruption” to the music industry; it can be an excuse to rewrite the rules. And with that, you should download the app from the iTunes store right now. Won’t cost you a dime and might blow your mind.