I haven’t seen the film “Map of the Sounds of Tokyo”. As a film title it sounded pretentious, but it always seemed to have an intriguing thing about it. Then I heard Lawrence English’s great ‘site listening’ guide to Brisbane. The concept of sounds and maps coming together started falling into place. Now comes Chris Carlson’s music app Borderlands Granular.
Imagine tracing your fingers over a 3-D map looking for a destination to travel to, a new place to discover. Imagine feeling the water when your fingers touch the ocean, the sand when you get to the desert, the snow on the Himalayas. That is what Borderlands Granular feels like to me. The continents are sound files, mountains formed by the overlapping of several files. Trace your finger on the screen and just let your musical imagination run wild. Discover what a mountain formed by several overlapping files sounds like, or test the beaches of one of your sounds as you come in from the sea of silence. All of this and more is what Borderlands has offered us as musicians. Endless granularity for endless imagination.
OK. So version 1.0 isn’t perfect: it’s lacking in file management, compatibility with iPad docks and other fancy trims, but I have a feeling it will eventually get there if we just let Chris Carlson do his job. This app has been so well received because of the concept it brings to music. It is so visually clear, it takes less than 10 seconds to understand what’s actually going on. It brings depth to audio file representation on a flat screen. It adds a third dimension to granularity with the overlapping of files. The idea of it all is simply genius. Now we can only hope that Chris has time to improve usability. In the meantime, we’ll start up our own place of worship here at OniriaSounds!
Don’t hesitate! BUY IT!