Created by one of the founders of Soundcloud, Ecclesia is an interactive album for the iPad that allows listeners to take control of the artwork and sound for each track, making every experience of the album a unique one. Drawing its inspiration from church recordings, the app makes for an interesting contrast between the traditional and the contemporary.
Ecclesia’s tracks are complemented by a series of sculptural visuals, which the listener can travel through and around, with each manipulation of the artwork having subtle effects on the sound of the track.
The music itself is derived from a series of church recordings, and uses fragments of strings, choirs, organs and ambient noises from church concerts. The beats and percussion are drawn from the sounds of various metal, wooden and stone objects.
Forss, the mind behind the music, originally had the idea of creating something more interactive when he released his debut album, Soulhack. Nine years later he had the opportunity to collaborate with Leo Lass, from audio-visual team Depart, and CGI artist Marcel Schobel, who runs Untouch.fm. Forss attributes the inspiration for the visuals to religious imagery, commenting:
“Art, music, literature and even science were, until last century, very much focused on religion, which created a very complex reference system. The interesting part is that, as we are getting more and more detached from the original sources, the images remain but can’t be fully decoded anymore. This leaves us with a certain enigmatic, sometimes nostalgic feeling which adds depth and atmosphere. We even talked to theologians to dig up stories which would emphasise the elements of each track in the project.”
The Ecclesia app can be downloaded here.
The iPad certainly seems to be enjoying a wave of attention from the music world, with Bjork’s Biophilia app, and the recently launched Simian Mobile Disco app, which plays their new album, Unpatterns, alongside a series of shifting and evolving pattersn, designed by Kate Moross.
So, is the iPad the digital saviour of music? Forss concludes:
“We believe that apps will add to the palette of visual expressions for musicians and artists. Apps allow us to create intimate audiovisual experiences that you can immerse yourself into. The iPad is a magical device. It’s intuitive and elegant. As a medium it turns into this window to a world that allows for lightweight interaction without distracting the listener.”
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