Brian Eno and Peter Chilvers are pleased to announce Bloom: 10 Worlds – a developed, augmented and expanded new edition of 2008’s game-changing original Bloom app, which explored uncharted territory in the realm of applications and was dubbed “The First Great iPhone App” by Gizmodo.
Requiring no musical or technical ability, the egalitarian and user-friendly Bloom app enabled anyone of any age to create music, simply by touching the screen. Part instrument, part composition and part artwork, Bloom’s innovative controls allowed users to create elaborate patterns and unique melodies by simply tapping the screen. A generative music player took over when Bloom was left idle, creating an infinite selection of compositions and their accompanying visualisations.
Bloom: 10 Worlds is a reimagining of the original – not simply a remaster. If the original Bloom was a single, then this would be an album. The widely broadened palette of sounds and images can be experienced via 10 new ‘worlds’, each exploring a new direction for Bloom. The first world the user encounters is an echo of the original app, with circles appearing where the user taps. Each subsequent world unlocks automatically, introducing new combinations of sounds, shapes, colours and rules of behaviour.
Praise for the original Bloom
“The very first iPhone apps were universally dull. And then Bloom came out. It was immediately obvious that something special was happening. The app was interesting on an artistic level – one that made you reconsider the relationship between technology and music. It raised the bar for musical iPhone apps.” Gizmodo
“Hypnotic and ludicrously addictive.” The Guardian
“A relaxing alternative to just about anything else you can do with an iPhone.” Wired
Eno began collaborating with musician / software designer Peter Chilvers on Will Wright’s computer game Spore. Their shared interest in generative music rapidly lead to the development of a prototype for Bloom in 2008. In the intervening decade, they experimented further with the field, expanding their catalogue of apps with Trope, Scape and Reflection. In that time Chilvers has also acted as an engineer and technical advisor to Eno on a number of other projects. A series of multi-speaker installations around the world laid the groundwork for 2016’s The Ship, and they premiered Bloom: Open Space, a mixed reality installation in Amsterdam in 2018.
In addition to his work with Eno, Chilvers co-founded the Burning Shed label and online store, toured with Underworld’s Karl Hyde as keyboardist and musical director, and has recorded instrumental albums and collaborations with vocalist Tim Bowness.
Now supports background play.
Airplay issue fixed.
Swipes from outside screen no longer register as notes.
Headphones and external speakers recommended.
Ratings and Reviews
I love the different tonalities. As others have mentioned, background audio would be nice. Although I certainly wouldn’t want this to turn into some multi featured complex app, a simple record feature, which could easily integrate into the few menu options, would make this perfect, as, sometimes i make a sequence that is so nice, I’d like to be able to listen to it again in its entirety. Audiobus and such isn’t really needed, but a simple record would be great.
Nice app ...
... It now plays in the background! Yaah! My only other very minor criticism is that some of the sounds on some of the worlds come in abruptly and harsh at times.
I found this app a nice complement to the entire series of apps by Brian Eno. For instance, tap the screen with some good spacing between the notes in the “Mull” #5 World and you get something vaguely that reminds me of the “Music for Airports“ algorithm. Using the same world, if you tap rapidly with several fingers (densely) across the whole screen, you get something like a cascading harp effect ... somewhat reminiscent like that on the “Ambient 3: Day of Radiance” album.
Out of all Eno’s apps, I still like the “Scape“ app the best. It is even more interactive whereby you can build your own other worldly sound scapes. If I were to suggest anything to the developers, I would say look at making a Scapes 2 type app that was different and would complement the first one. (BTW, I am STILL trying to figure out what heck the question mark slider does! Care to tell me or is it just a Red Herring?)
Developer Response ,
You'll be pleased to know that we've now updated the app so that it continues to run in the background. We've also added a recommendation to listen on headphones or external speakers, as the sounds are a little harsh over the built in speakers. Thank you for the feedback and positive comments.
Regarding the 'mystery' slider in Scape, it is intentionally mysterious! I'll admit that we contemplated having the slider do nothing just to see what people projected on to it. But in fact it does create some very subtle changes, although I think it'd be very hard to quantify them.
Update: No background audio FIXED
Update: it now plays in the background. Thank you very much, developers! It now feels like a nice little ambient audio experiment while I do other things on my iPhone, which is lovely. Thank you.
It makes some nice tranquil sounds I would like to listen to without staring at the screen, but the playback halts immediately when app goes to background. Including when in autoplay and timer mode, no background audio possible! The developer’s website states that all heir apps support background play but not finding it to be the case with Bloom 10, what a shame...
Developer Response ,
You'll be pleased to know that we've now updated the app so that it continues to run in the background. Thanks for the feedback and positive comments.
With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.