After almost a decade of musical silence, acclaimed electronic artist and SoundCloud CTO Eric Wahlforss (a.k.a. Forss) has returned with a new album of music, which is already available as a simple web app preview that will soon be joined by a more elaborate iPad app.
Hugely inspired by one of Europe’s oldest musical forms — choral church music — Wahlforss looks to take this “untouchable” art form and put his own unique contemporary spin to it, “at the dawn of a new post-religious age.” This utterly unique project combines the feel and beauty of the past with the cutting edge technology of the present.
Set for an official release on June 12, the “Eccelsia” album comprises songs and sounds recorded during church concerts, which Wahlforss rearranged and twisted into a piece of music linking the traditional with the electronic, using Ableton Live. Wahlforss has so far released three songs as teasers for the full-length album as a web app (listen) and four on SoundCloud (listen).
Already, the combined taste of new and old is intoxicating, at least to this listener (ed. note: seconded, and the commenters on SoundCloud agree with us). The fullness of the choral voices are mixed perfectly with the organic beats and clicks of the electronic composition.
To emphasize this melding of the modern and ancient, Wahlforss teamed up with Leo Lass of the Viennese audio-visual team Depart and CGI artist Marcel Schobel to produce a “natural” iPad app, which will showcase the music alongside what look to be fairly striking visuals. The app, slated for a May 2 launch, is described by spokeswoman Anna Meacham as “a digital world of sculptures and scenes of intuitive album art which can be traveled through and around, with the journey having subtle effects on the music and vice versa.”
Our eyes and ears look forward to experiencing the full potential of this musical, technological and historical collaboration. The music already sounds amazing, and the app has promise to be a provocative program. But it will be even more affecting to see how the iPad app enhances the listening experience of the music.
As soon as it’s in our hands, we’ll give you a full review, so stay tuned. Here’s a sneak peek video of the app in action: