The MusicTiles app allows everybody – novices, musicians, and expert composers – to remix songs in a playful manner using virtual modular tiles. In a 25-years celebration of the iconic So album, Peter Gabriel granted RoboProfessor Henrik Hautop Lund unparalleled access to his multi-tracks and stems to create a So 2.0 experience that allows fans to create MusicTiles mixes.
The So album MusicTiles app takes the songs of the original album into the new millennium allowing all music fans to make their own versions of well known Peter Gabriel songs such as Sledgehammer, In Your Eyes and Big Time. The So album for MusicTiles even contains three new versions of each song in different, modern styles (e.g. original, electronica & industrial) for the fans to play with and develop according to their own individual taste. By simple constructions with modular tiles on the iPhone or iPad, the user creates new versions of the songs dependent on where and when the modular tiles are put together.
By releasing the MusicTiles app with the So album, Peter Gabriel and Henrik Hautop Lund illuminate the potential of revolutionising the music industry by giving the music into the hands and the creative minds of the fans worldwide. “Whereas the traditional music industry is characterized by artists releasing songs and albums in a fixed format for CDs, iTunes, and streaming services”, says RoboProfessor Henrik Hautop Lund, “the MusicTiles app democratises the music to become a flexible format that can be manipulated by anybody, anywhere, anytime. Instead of listening to a hit song in the same format over and over again, MusicTiles allows the listener to change the hit song over and over again according to the listener’s own taste and creativity. The music fan is transformed from a passive listener to an active performer.”
Peter Gabriel says “I have always loved the idea that music and art should be fully open media from which no-one is excluded. They are languages that anyone can learn to speak and definitely not the exclusive province of the high priests armed with ‘Talent ’.
We started working with interactive music forms twenty years ago and were recently delighted to discover Henrik’s elegant and wonderfully simple music bricks working so well. It was such a well-executed version of something we had begun looking at doing for a Millenium project for Habitat. The Music Tiles app has the capacity to reach many people all over the world and get kids of all ages playing creatively with the building bricks of music, I’m very happy that So, after twenty five years in one form is now going be opened up in so many new ways with this Music Tiles launch. I look forward to being entertained and surprised by all its new incarnations.
Mike Large of Real World confirms "we've been interested in interactive music since Peter Gabriel released Xplora 1 in 1994 and Noodle in 1999 - when we saw Henrik's MusicTiles and the wonderful bricks he'd made we felt it would be great to get involved. As well as supplying stems of Peter Gabriel's songs for Henrik's team to remix and experiment with Real World has worked with his team on the interface and functionality to produce a simple to use and fun new interactive musical experience."
So how does it work?
MusicTiles runs as an app on iPad and iPhone, where a number of modular tiles are shown in a grid on the screen. Each modular tile has a colour and represents an instrument or a particular musical stem. For instance, a yellow tile represents guitar, and a light blue tile represents vocal. When two tiles are put next to each other (connected), they will start playing. For instance, connecting a yellow and a light blue tile will produce guitar and vocal sound. However, the sound of each instrument depends on where the tile is connected. Connecting a tile to the North side gives one sound, another sound is produced when connecting the tile to the East side, another sound is produced to the South side, and another to the West side. Having two, three or four tile neighbors connected may also produce different sounds. For instance, the guitar may sound in up to seven different ways, depending on how you connect the tile representing guitar.
By playing around with the modular tiles of a song, you will discover the different sounds of the tiles, and become able to make your own remixes. Your own remixes will depend on how, where, and when you connect and disconnect the tiles, and how well you train yourself to do this.
It is not necessary for all tiles to be connected. You can, for instance, put them together in islands of two and two. The way you choose to put the modular tiles together all depends on the way you want to play with them to produce your favorite sound.
The MusicTiles app also allows you to record the performance that you are making into your own version of a song. Afterwards, you can replay your recorded version of the song along with an animation of how the tiles were moved around, and you can also email your recorded version to your friends.
Songs may use more or less tiles, depending on the number of instruments being used in the song, and some songs may use A, B, and C pieces. In such a case, the different pieces can be chosen in the small bar above the menu bar. Above this bar is another small bar indicating the time, which may facilitate your musical performance with the modular tiles.
The songs for the MusicTiles So album were remixed and produced by Entertainment Robotics engaging a large team of contemporary musicians, DJs, and producers from Denmark, who brilliantly represent the sound of 2013. This team of producers that gives the 2013 sound to the So album in the MusicTiles version includes Kasper Falkenberg, Tore Nissen, Martin Ottesen, Balsner, Thomas Knak, Frederik Thaae, Simon Luth. The original So album music was composed, performed and produced by Peter Gabriel and Real World Studios.
Nominated for European Innovative Games Award