Author Topic: Robert Rich iPhone App  (Read 1692 times)

Echoes

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Robert Rich iPhone App
« on: July 20, 2010, 07:29:24 AM »
Robert Rich just released a cool iPhone App based on his DVD, Somnium. You can read about it here: http://wp.me/pgATL-Ul
Robert will also be on Echoes tonight, July 21, taking a blindfold test in the Echoes Chamber.

Antdude

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Re: Robert Rich iPhone App
« Reply #1 on: July 20, 2010, 06:13:27 PM »
Been playing with this app for a few hours now. In short, a tremendous way to present this great album. Hopefully, this is just a first release, and Robert is working on some updates. The app isn't perfect: It needs a sleep timer. The Pace function should be accessible while playing music. Most importantly, it needs to be made multitasking-aware with iOS4. Currently, it can't run in the background with other apps. And it would be nice if there were some way to display some artwork or generated graphics similar to Brian Eno's Bloom or Trope.

That said, this is still an excellent musical experience. It's great to see Somnium in a portable format. And at .99, if you have an iPhone, iPod Touch or and iPad, you'd be crazy not to download this one. Hopefully, it will be updated soon so that the presentation matches the absolutely first-rate musical experience. 4 stars.
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solyaris

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Re: Robert Rich iPhone App
« Reply #2 on: July 25, 2010, 12:18:30 AM »
Hi all music lovers & makers,

Quote
It's great to see Somnium in a portable format.

I feel sorry Antdude, I completely disagree.

quoting from http://wp.me/pgATL-Ul :
Quote
The iPod/iPhone platform is more suitable than the DVD which forced you into a listening space.
 

I feel as foolish this conception: iPod/iPhone supply a lo-fi sound quality, and, as all mobile device, it imply a music listening in terms of background below other stuff you do in your real life ...  in other terms, using ther "multitasking-aware" metaphor, I say that iPod/iPhone imply a music listening as a Low Priority task (of your Attention). The CD or DVD way instead imply a music listening at a possible max priority psycological task ... that's the manner you can really appreciate music (as utility) to pass portals of your mind...

Quote
With the Somnium  App, I can alter any space Im in, whether its the media room or the grocery store.


I feel the conception of altering the living space an alienation. Now, me too I use MP3 portable players to avoid to listen the awful sound around me in the city, but this is not a solution to Listen Music, indeed it's just an escapism, all in all my alienation from the world. A bad story! I associate the Listening (Ambient) music to a deep listening activity and specifically Robert Rich's music have been for me the entry point in a listening music one step forward a standard every day superficial listening (of mainstream music). So I'm sad to see one of my preferred musician (and mentor) to follow this adapt to a bad music fruiction way... probably I'm wrong, but I pretend from top level artist in the world (and I retain Robert one special person), a progression in music creativity ... after "trance & drones" elevations, you can't go back realizing "standard ambient music" a l Eno ...  

I know, we are, all over the world in the crisis of decadence, but I feel that just because this, artists could explore with more freedom them creativity, and all in all I always see the adaptation to the tastes of big audience, pheraps bring to an economical advantage, but that's something that make unhappy and miserable the creator of art ... isn't it ?  

quoting Robert Rich's mailing list:

Quote
Anyone with an iPhone or iPod Touch can now download the Somnium app,
for a mere $0.99. This app creates a mood for long-duration listening
by playing hours of randomly crossfading loops, selected from the
original Somnium audio tracks. The user interface is very simple,
just a slider that determines how slowly the loops move forward.


The idea is funny and me too, as musician and software maker, some years ago I investigated to realize this kind of "random-controlled" sw, there was times of my discover of Brian Eno's experimentations on generative music (with not so good results) and my time of investigation of '900 composers futuristic ideas on these realms. Now I realized that the "one-shot choice" of composer is magic... it's the risolving catalysing act of creativity; personally I make music overlapping using many layers of performance recording and what I feel interesting is to choose the magic fit in among sound layers (= loops); so I feel that allowing the user to play with remix controls have two drawbacks: 1. remove the creator of music magic decision, 2. distract the listener attention to really fly with music.
    
Last but not least, let me exprime my disappointment for Apple stuff, that I call "pseudo-technological". I have been a Mac user and programmer for years, deciding at last "no more a Mac in my home!". Specifically I hate the Apple presumption of "think different" on technological creativity... but above all I hate the monopolistic approach of proprietary sw / fw, apple always maintained in years. Last but not least, the value of all recent Apple portable devices is simply a leg-pull, just a symbol of status quo of richness... something that fight with my vision of music experience for human beings.

I'm against all as usual here, or there is someone agree ? :)

Sincerely
giorgio

ffcal

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Re: Robert Rich iPhone App
« Reply #3 on: July 25, 2010, 08:47:47 AM »
Hi giorgio,

But tell us how you really feel!;)  As usual, you've given a lot for us to chew on here, but I'd have to agree with at least two of your points.  The idea of using music to tune out your environment is too escapist to me, and seems at odds with John Cage's idea paying greater attention to the sounds of your immediate environment, not less.  Unless I am in commuter mode, I generally don't like the idea of tuning out my environment--it seems very unnatural and even a bit antisocial.  Yet with the proliferation of cell phone users looking down and ignoring the immediate environment around them, this sadly seems to be a continuing trend.

I'm also not crazy about the concept of listeners becoming their own remixers.  Though some on this board have done this to great effect (e.g., Dave), I find the idea a little too gimmicky and believe that it violates the space that should exist between the artist and the listener.

On the other hand, Robert's app sounds interesting, though I would never consider it a substitute for the original recording.

Forrest

Antdude

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Re: Robert Rich iPhone App
« Reply #4 on: July 25, 2010, 11:33:51 AM »

On the other hand, Robert's app sounds interesting, though I would never consider it a substitute for the original recording.

Forrest

Good point and one that I should have clarified in my little review. This is NOT a replacement for RR's Somnium DVD, nor should it be considered as such. However, if someone unfamiliar with Robert's work were to D/L this app, and be inspired enough to seek out the original work, wouldn't this also be a positive gain from the experience? In that sense, the iPhone app could be seen as a brilliant marketing tool to expand his audience, which can only be a positive thing. Quite possibly, we'll see something like this from other artists in the future.

Quote
I feel the conception of altering the living space an alienation. Now, me too I use MP3 portable players to avoid to listen the awful sound around me in the city, but this is not a solution to Listen Music, indeed it's just an escapism, all in all my alienation from the world. A bad story! I associate the Listening (Ambient) music to a deep listening activity and specifically Robert Rich's music have been for me the entry point in a listening music one step forward a standard every day superficial listening (of mainstream music). So I'm sad to see one of my preferred musician (and mentor) to follow this adapt to a bad music fruiction way... probably I'm wrong, but I pretend from top level artist in the world (and I retain Robert one special person), a progression in music creativity ... after "trance & drones" elevations, you can't go back realizing "standard ambient music" a l Eno ...

When I have the luxury of being able to enjoy a deep listening session with good headphones and a dark, quiet room, I agree, that is the best way to experience an artist's music. However, in today's world, it's difficult to make the time for that. When I was in the Navy, I frequently had to use music as an escape from a very claustrophobic and noisy environment. When I lived in Japan, on the train, I noticed that almost every passenger used some form of portable music to create a bubble in which to find some small measure of privacy. We cannot always choose the environment for our music, but we can find ways to adapt our music to the environment. I'm pretty sure any musician who has ever performed live can attest to this. I don't see this as alienation, but as a way to make the environment we cannot change more enjoyable.
There is no spoon. Which sucks because I have a pudding cup.

solyaris

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Re: Robert Rich iPhone App
« Reply #5 on: July 25, 2010, 11:35:54 AM »
Hello Forrest,

Quote
But tell us how you really feel!;)

In what sense ? ;)
Isn't clear that I hate the nowadays music fruiction ways ... apple or not apple ... ?! :)

Quote
Unless I am in commuter mode, I generally don't like the idea of tuning out my environment--it seems very unnatural and even a bit antisocial.  Yet with the proliferation of cell phone users looking down and ignoring the immediate environment around them, this sadly seems to be a continuing trend.

Yes, I agree that's awful and I confess me too I use often my portable music player to listen music (deep soul house music !? ;) ) but that's way to live music is a full alienation... that's not what I would hope music could be for people ...

BTW, I always retained John Cage's theories a leg-pull or a pure ideological provocation at his times ...
his unique merit have been to be friend of Morton Feldmann ... :)
 
Always respect for Your art, Forrest.

giorgio

Brian Bieniowski

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Re: Robert Rich iPhone App
« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2010, 06:00:32 PM »
I bought the app last week and have been enjoying it a lot.  Played it while I read at the pool this weekend and felt that I'd never really dug deeply enough into the DVD version purely because the thing was so long!

I would not say it is a "replacement" for the original album, but it is a fun way to enjoy and interact with it.  I thought the sound quality was adequate for on-the-go listening and I really enjoy the constantly shifting vignettes from the "real" record.  I'd say, at 99, this is a gem.

Dave Michuda

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Re: Robert Rich iPhone App
« Reply #7 on: July 26, 2010, 06:52:14 PM »
I also bought the app last week.  I love using it as sleep music & have been using it as background music at work.  Brian, you're right,  99 cents is a great deal.