Latest Issue

Dr Pangloss

Apps for a better world

By Brian Eno   May 2010

Since I spend a portion of my life making music on a computer, I keep an eye on new software. Until recently it’s been fairly predictable: digital versions of existing procedures, like echo and reverberation, “dressed” to look like their analogue antecedents.

But not long ago I downloaded (free!) a group of sound-processing programs designed by the New Zealand composer Michael Norris. When you’re working digitally it’s not actually sound you’re processing, but numbers—it doesn’t become sound until it leaves your loudspeakers. Norris’s software performs mathematical operations on the numbers and the results can be relentlessly unmusical… until, after…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect