If you’re looking for a music app that extends beyond the realm of what is typical of iPad and iPhone apps, look no further. Bloom is a “music box for the 21st century.”
Developed by ambient music pioneer Brian Eno and software designer Peter Chilvers, Bloom is in some ways an instrument and composing tool and in other ways a palette for art. Each piece is different and distinctive, and anyone can create music simply by tapping the screen.
Bloom uses soft hues of blues, purples, greens, and other colors that emerge in circles that seem to “bloom” when you tap on the screen. Each circle is assigned a note value, so you can create melodies and harmonies that overlap and evolve. Bloom also includes a setting in which you can allow the generative music player to take over when the app is left idle, and the app creates an infinite amount of compositions with accompanying art.
If you’d like to start over, simply shake the device to clear the music you’ve created. Within the settings, you can also change the “mood,” which changes the scale source the app uses. There are 12 moods to choose from, and you can even select a random mood shuffle.
Brian Eno says of Bloom, “You can play it, and you can watch it play itself.” Eno is at the forefront of ambient music, a genre focused on timbres and sounds to create mood or atmosphere. Ambient music is often experimental and has an unobtrusive quality to it.
Bloom uses ambient music as a means of creating calm; Bloom co-creator Peter Chilvers has heard from parents of children with autism who use the app to help them calm down. Bloom even includes a sleep timer, so you can use the app to fall asleep to and not worry about the device running all night.
Bloom is soothing and also allows for a vast amount of creativity and expression. Its ease of use makes it appropriate for children and adults of all abilities.
Bloom is available for iPad, iPod Touch, and iPhone for $3.99.