Chicago Avenue Moon Review
Chicago Avenue Moon creates soundscapes based on factors such as the date, your location and the phase of the moon
Composer Joshua Dumas conceived the idea for this generative music app while watching the moon rise through his open studio door. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘generative music’, it means music that is ever-changing and generated by a system. An early example is John Cage’s 1951 work, Music Of Changes, based on the I Ching and paper imperfections.
For Chicago Avenue Moon, Dumas composed over 1,000 brief musical phrases that are arranged and determined by several factors, including the user’s GPS location and direction, the time, date and moon phase. The idea is that the music – comprising strings, piano, woodwind, synths and sound effects – shifts and changes pace as you move. So, whether you’re on a car journey or out for a long walk, it provides a constantly varying soundscape.
To make the most of Chicago Avenue Moon’s features you will need your iPhone’s Location Services turned on, although it can estimate your position using Wi-Fi networks if enough are available. Alternatively, you can randomly select a location so you can hear the different sounds far flung parts of the world create.
While Chicago Avenue Moon offers an interesting alternative to listening to conventional music playlists, its soundscape will hardly be to everyone’s tastes and is likely to appeal mainly to aficionados of contemporary classical and experimental music.
An interesting concept and use of mobile technology, but the music generated has a limited audience.
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