Brian Eno and Karl Hyde: How many shapes can dance on a record?

Brian Eno and Karl Hyde have launched an interactive augmented-reality app to accompany their new record, "Someday World".

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Screenshot by Michelle Starr/CNET

If you're a musician, it seems it's becoming de rigueur to dabble in the mobile app space. The latest to do so is Brian Eno, one of the strongest pioneers and innovators in ambient electronic, alongside Underworld frontman Karl Hyde.

This isn't Eno's first foray into mobile apps. His previous efforts -- Bloom, Trope and Air -- are essentially sound-mixing tools, where the user can play with presets to come up with their own creations.

Eno • Hyde is quite different. It's powered by Lukasz Karluk's HoloDecks, a project that is interested in exploring and transforming sound. Rather than producing sound itself, the app provides an interactive augmented-reality experience to be enjoyed in concert with the record of the pair's new album, "Someday World".

The app uses the label in the centre of the record as an AR marker. When you point your iOS device's camera at the label, a small world of geometric shapes appears on the surface of the record -- what Eno and Hyde dub "insider architecture". Users can tap to interact with the shapes, shattering them and watching them coalesce, forming structures that mirror the compositions on the album.

"A lot of the nicer cities I know are cities built on hills, and the cities are beautiful because the buildings have a challenge to adapt to," Eno said, explaining the duo's philosophy of 'building cities on hills'. " They have to mould themselves around the geology that they've formed upon. And that always makes for very interesting buildings, because they can't just be blocks, they have to somehow morph around the environment. A lot of the constructions on the album were deliberately irregular and awkward."

If you don't have the record, you can still get a taste of the app via the album's website, and you can grab the app for free from iTunes.

 

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