On this blog alone, we’ve seen people using their tablet to read, engage in conversation and watch television. Now, Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky, is taking the tablet to the next level, using his iPad to make music. A renowned multimedia artist, Miller has performed on his iPad around the world. He uses the device to sample and mix music, often combining the electronic sounds of the iPad with the music of live performers.
To get a sense of how Miller uses his tablet as a digital turntable, watch his performance at The Economist‘s World in 2012 event. Here, he blends the old-school sounds of Mozart’s “Ein Klein Nichtmusic” with the new-school beats of the iPad.
Miller sees tremendous potential for the future of making music on your digital device. “Imagine the world of jazz without the saxophone. That’s what’s going on with the iPad and app’s these days. Every app is a new kind of scripted space, a new instrument and new interface,” he recently told me. “It’s been a long journey for me from turntables to iPad apps, and the basic idea is that you are seeing an explosion of creativity based on how people are making code become culture.”
To help make code become culture, Miller has launched an iPad app that lets users download, sample and mix their own music and effects using the iPad. As Miller points out, “Violins, saxophones and pianos have all had hundreds of years to evolve. The iPad has only been out two years!” To date, there have been over 12 million downloads of Miller’s DJ Spooky version of the DJ mixer app, showing there is a definite market for iPad music creation.
Miller’s creative success should assuage fears that new technologies like the iPad might completely subsume traditional forms of culture. It’s obvious that Mozart’s music isn’t going away anytime soon. Instead, the iPad is allowing musicians to create new pieces and formats out of Mozart, reaching a new audience in the process. The iPad is really a perfect tool to help us do what we’ve been doing for centuries – sampling old music, books and magazines and reshaping them into something new.
See Miller reshape Radiohead below.