Have you ever spent a long, happy evening with a new effects pedal and a pair of headphones? Do you have an Apple iPhone and $3.99 to spare? If so, open the iTunes Store and download Bloom immediately.
Released last Thursday by Brian Eno, who more or less invented ambient music, and fellow traveler Peter Chilvers, Bloom is like discovering a seashell you've never seen before--beautifully simple yet infinitely complicated.
It displays a pastel multicolored screen. You hit different spots on the screen to play different notes--bass notes at the bottom, treble at the top. The notes are arranged in modal intervals so you can't play a wrong note.
Once you've built a pattern, they repeat at an interval, which you can control with a slider. It's polyphonic, so you can add additional notes each time you go through the sequence.
If you take your hands off the screen entirely, it'll improvise on what you've created. Check out the YouTube demo.
It's the perfect iPhone app because it takes full advantage of its most salient feature, the beautiful, bright touch screen. Hopefully, it'll take advantage of another great iPhone feature, the ability to update applications, and add new sounds--some Frippertronic guitar distortion would be lovely.
The low notes aren't very clear through the iPhone's built-in speakers, so use headphones or plug it into a stereo. Or guitar amp. With a delay pedal.
I'll see you in a few hours.