Musicology Research publishes ‘Sound Mirrors: Brian Eno and Touchscreen Generative Music’

Screen Shot 2018-02-04 at 16.10.32Two years after we presented our first paper on Brian Eno’s production practice at the Music and Moving Image conference in New York, the Musicology Research Journal  accepted my third collaborative  work with Rupert Loydell which examines Brian Eno’s touchscreen music applications Bloom, Trope, Scape and the Reflection album release. It’s open access and can be downloaded from Musicology Research Journal.
Loydell, Rupert & Marshall, Kingsley. (2017) ‘Sound Mirrors: Brian Eno and Touchscreen Generative Music’. In Musicology Research. Issue 3, Autumn, 2017. No. 2, pp. 27-50.

With the recent publication of the edited collection Brian Eno: Oblique Music (Albiez & Pattie, 2016) and the distribution of Brian Eno’s 26th solo studio album Reflection in 2017 on vinyl, CD and as an innovative software application, the time is ripe for a reconsideration of the way in which software has been used by the musician, composer, record producer and visual artist Brian Eno. This paper explores how Eno has used simple but innovative ideas and processes to inform his music over the course of his career, and considers how his work with collaborators – specifically the musician and software designer Peter Chilvers – has converged with the emergence of touchscreen technologies and modes of distribution. We will demonstrate how Apple’s App Store global distribution platform has further disseminated Eno’s ideas of ‘generative music’ to a wider audience through he and Chilvers’ Bloom (2008), Trope (2009/2015), Scape (2012) and Reflection (2017a) software applications for Apple’s iPhone and iPad, and the impact on the distribution and reception of Eno’s own music. Echoing Eno’s own processes of appropriation, remix and collaboration the authors wrote the paper through exchanges dictated by the turn of a card selected from the third edition of the Oblique Strategies deck, issued by Eno and Peter Schmidt in 1979.

About Kingsley Marshall

Kingsley Marshall is Head of Film at the CILECT accredited School of Film & Television based within Falmouth University in the UK. The subject area consists of 28 staff working with 300 undergraduates studying the Skillset accredited BA (Hons) Film degree, supplemented by a postgraduate community studying from MA level through to PhD. Kingsley’s research and practice primarily orientates around the use of sound (including music and effects) in cinema and television, and the production of short and micro-budget feature films, executive producing Wilderness (Doherty, 2017) which won 11 awards at 16 international film festivals since making its premiere at Cinequest in 2017, and producing Project 18 (Mackfall, 2018), currently in post-production. For over twenty years he has worked as a journalist, interviewing filmmakers, musicians, and designers for over 30 publications and broadcasters worldwide, written album sleeve notes and biographies for over 100 artists, and contributed to anthologies on hip hop and soul. He can be found on Twitter as @kingsleydc