pocket music

Technology pushes everyone around it seems, especially artists I often think because there is so much to keep up with, adapt to and compete with and artists are a culture's innovators. However, in the end I feel artists get the last word.

I'm not sure if it's a good thing or not but just as the piano evolved from dulcimers, our idea of what defines an instrument continues to change and include what began simply as a phone.   Mobile apps are redefining the idea of a music band and expanding our options to make music.  I haven't developed much of an ear for techno synthesized music yet, but I am pleased with the inventiveness of what people are doing to make music with what they are carrying in their pocket.  In some ways the technology levels the playing field, helping set a beat and letting someone without musical talent 'play' an instrument.  The spread of digital music is an undeniable fact, but for me reveals less about technology and more of the human desire to make art.   

Here is a video (2008) of iBand; two iPhones and a Nintendo D combine to play app instruments (apps by MooCowMusic) much like any band formed by using other instruments. 

What if you are rocking four iPhones?  Then you have the option of a one woman (or man) band like South Korean Kim Yeo Hee (a.k.a. Apple Girl). She can and does play 'real' instruments, too, as she does for "Half" with a full band and backup singers

Watch below as she covers Lady Gaga's "Pokerface" with only iPhone 'instruments' using T-Pain, Beatmaker and a fourth app that I could understand what she says (please help me translate if you can).

Here's a bit of Michael Jackson's Black or White on an iPhone using the app iShred. (Video by alychg 2011.)

Here is one more song with irony hopefully not lost, "Life Is Greater Than the Internet," also from iBand using two iPhones and an iPod Touch.

If you come across more music produced on the iPhone or the iPad (I didn't even start listing iPad songs but they are out there!), please share ones that you like with me. 

It will be interesting to see how the songs evolve with the assistance of mobile devices and how more artists own (or abandon) the medium.  Besides, I'm inspired by the ingenuity.

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