First, let me say hello to all the readers and thank you to Creatorzine for asking me to write this column. I'll be addressing topics in international tech and entertainment here.
November 5th-8th I had the honor of moderating a number of panels at Web Summit, the largest tech conference in the world. It takes place in Portugal, which was a country I'd never been to, and brings together tech professionals, entrepreneurs, investors, inventors and business from all over the world. Indeed, with 70,000 attending the conference feels like a small city of it's own. It addressed everything from Brexit to financial issues and of course the latest tech and app developments in the world. I was pleased to present a talk with the legendary electronic Jean-Michel Jarre on the last day that introduced his fascinating new app EoN.
Jarre is a composer, performer, record producer and electronic music pioneer selling an estimated 80 million albums worldwide. But if you're not familiar with the work of Jean-Michel Jarre, don't worry, he had a huge and influential album in 1976, Oxygene. It showed the possibilities of the synthesizer at a time when electronic music as a popular form was in its infancy. Oxygene was not only brilliantly inventive but also was one of the first hit albums recorded in a bedroom. Moby's Play album (1999), with help from personal computers and new technology would show this idea was becoming increasingly popular. Both albums sold over 12 million copies and making a music release in one's bedroom in now common.
Jean-Michel Jarre's 1978 release Equinoxe presaged the great use of sequencers in electronic dance music today and was another landmark for him. It sold about 1 millions copies. A consummate musician and multi-instrumentalist, has continued to innovate and invent, along with having one of the most remarkable careers in music. In 1981 he was invited as one of the first Western musicians to play in the People's Republic of China, and the concert series is still a landmark for that country. Jarre has also played some of the biggest concerts every held. In 1997, in an unbelievable feat of organization, he played a show in Moscow in front of 3.5 million people. The Guinness Book of World records confirms this is the largest concert ever held in human history.
Jarre's new app, EoN, is a fascinating concept and the kind of tech you would expect from someone always pushing technology forward. Jarre composed about 7 hours and of music and then worked with researchers at Sony Computer Science Laboratories (Sony CSL) in Gotanda and French music tech company BLEASS to integrate the music into an AI program which then devises infinite variations of the compositions. The result is whenever you open this app it plays unique music derived from Jarre's compositions, but that music has never been heard before, and will never be heard again! That's because every time you open the app it plays new, unique music.
The visuals provided by the app, designed by computer scientist Alexis Andre at Sony CSL, work on the same principle. They are different every time you open the app and never repeat. While Jarre's reputation may be for ambient-style music that is not the case with the EoN app. It provides music with a wide range of beat per minute (BPM), feelings, textures and tempos.
The end result of EoN is something that never repeats itself every time you open it, and is essentially infinite in its musical and visual possibilities.