Jarre goes Eno – The generative music quest continues


Just like Brian Eno Jean Michel Jarre has the urge to release something innovative on the iOS platform in the shape of a new generative music app. To what extent it adds something to what’s already out there remains to be seen, but in case you are a JM Jarre fan this may be your chance to the explore his electronic universe.

JM jarre describes the app as one of his “most exciting creative projects” since his debut album Oxygene, a generative music app that he says will never play the same music twice. EōN – which is named after the Greek god of time and eternity – uses an algorithm to create music from a bank of beats, melodies and chords composed specifically by Jarre for the project, resulting in “a never-repeating and completely unique musical experience for every user, every time”. The algorithm was developed by Alexis Zbik and Vianney Apreleff of French music tech company BLEASS, who defined the app’s rules with artistic direction from Jarre.

The application creates constantly changing music, composed by Jarre, paired with digital graphics by Alexis André of Sony Computer Science Laboratories.

Here’s what Jarre has to say about it in his own words:
“« EON » is an ancient Greek God associated with Time & Eternity. The « time » represented by EON is infinite and unbounded in the sense of « ages » and « forever ». In cosmology, geology or astronomy, EON is often used in reference to a period of a billion years…
I named this project EON, as it best defines exactly what it is – an infinite musical and visual creation, which offers each individual a unique experience on its primary support as an App: on each device, and on each launch of the EON App, you will hear and see a unique ever-evolving orchestration of the music & the visuals. EON is a never ending, never repetitive, organic art-piece that will live & grow forever in everyone’s own singular space-time continuum, at the tip of their finger.

Personally, I truly feel that EON is probably one of my most exciting creative projects since Oxygene. I always wanted to create a music specific for each listener and which could constantly evolve. Here it is. EON is conceived & composed for your own infinite journey.

I had a very clear idea of the organic, living visuals I wanted to accompany my music creation, and I was very lucky to have spent some time in Tokyo at Sony Computer Science Laboratories, Inc. (Sony CSL) where I found Alexis André and his singular visual world. Sony CSL with Alexis have conceived and developed an algorithm generating the endless flow of ever-evolving graphics, which like the music is never ending, nor repetitive.

The algorithm and audio engine that orchestrates the music of the EON App have been engineered by Alexis Zbik & Vianney Apreleff from BLEASS after we defined the rules of the system together.”

Using the app is simple: just open it up and it will automatically begin playing an algorithmically generated track. It functions like an infinite DJ mix, with tracks mixing seamlessly into new motifs, and in the hour I listened to it I didn’t notice any repetition. However, it’s important to note that this isn’t a mood-based app that provides music based on what kind of sounds you want to hear – in its current state it’s basically an endless Jean Michel-Jarre album.

The app, which is currently only available for iOS devices, works offline and features generative visuals by Sony Computer Science Laboratories researcher Alexis André. It costs $8.99 / €9.99 / £8.99, and will be “updated regularly” with new features. It will be coming to other platforms, including Android, “in the near future”.