Jarre’s New Album is a Mobile App Playing Different Music Every Time You Start it

English Music

Jean-Michel Jarre and cell phone

My old musical hero, Jean-Michel Jarre launched his new album today. It’s an app where the music will change constantly and give a new and unique experience every time.

(English translation of an article I did for a Norwegian magazine today)

Jean-Michel Jarre has, with the odd exception, been at the forefront of using new technology. Now he’s created his new album as a mobile app.

The app is called Eon – is currently iPad and iPhone only, but it will also be available for Android. The app is developed by Jarre and people from Sony Computer Science Laboratories, and it generates a composition that will change all the time.

– It’s like an eternal album, Jarre explained during the launch at the Web Sumit 19 conference in Lisbon today.

The generated music is built out of elements from seven hours of music that the French composer wrote and produced in his own studio in Paris.

Every time you start the app, an algorithm will take the music, and rearrange the chords, rhythm and melodies. In that way you will get an eternal album that will sound completely different every time you play it.

Alex André from Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. has assisted in the project, and has developed the software  that will generate visuals that are displayed as the music plays.

Jarre isn’t the first to create music that is generated with algorithms. Brian Eno did this already 11 years ago. However, as Jarre explained at the press conference:

– What is new with Eon is that the app doesn’t just generate linear ambient music. First time you start  the app it might start with a techno beat. But when you start it the next time, it will start with strings. But it’s still the same musical concert, but it will be completely different every time.

At the age of 71, Jarre is more active than ever. In three years he released four albums, two of them double LPs, and  toured Europe, South-America and the IS with a groundbreaking visual show. Now he will work even more with artificial intelligence. His next project is creating an album for Sony with the help of their AI software called Flow Machines.

– In 10 years time we will have developed algorithms that composes music, novels and movies. But I don’t think it will make artists unemployed. We have always been good at adapting to and use new technology and the possibilities it provides us.

He’s now thinking of touring with the Eon app:

– Every night will be a completely new concert. Neither the audience, or me, will know what will happen during the gig.

See the app launch here:

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