After being at one of these performance I’d booked to go again, expecting, not unreasonably, for it to be of a similar format to the previous Moog Soundlab event at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch. I was wrong. At least, I was for the most part wrong. It was similar in the sense that there was the same enormous (or at least enormous by my standards) Moog modular rig being used. However, I was different in more or less every other aspect.
To illustrate I took a photograph of the letter that every received (on their chair as they arrived) and were asked to read.
I think you’ll agree that this is really quite unusual. As were the two glasses of gin that did arrive and were, at least to my taste, nothing like the gin I’m used to.
In fact, as an event it was more like something I might see at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, rather than in London, so from that perspective, I loved it.
This was a lovely little event, and when I say little I really do mean it. The audience was tiny in a tiny little basement bar at the Ace hotel in Shoreditch. It’s a nice venue though. The performance lasted a hour and was very interesting and used a lot but not all the equipment.
I find it interesting to watch a modular performance like this to see how the music is actually generated and sustained. It isn’t like normal performances at all of course. Quite different indeed.
The arrangements were lovely, with people’s names on their booked seats.
And on each seat was a thing called a “dream machine”, which was a strange light contraption sitting on a turntable. It made an interesting effect though.
So it was an enjoyable evening, good fun, interesting to watch and different environment too.
The whole idea of the modular phone is great. Not a new concept of course but a good application of the idea. I think that this stuff started with hardware like the Handspring Visor and its springboard modular hardware. I think that what’s happening now is a continuation of that. It’s a step in the right direction. But I do have issues with it.
So it appears that there are at least three different companies working on modular phones. That’s fine. It’s a good thing. But what I don’t like is that they’re all doing things in different ways and without a single central standard. So you won’t, as far as I’m aware, be able to swap modules from one type or brand of device to another. That doesn’t make any sense to me at all. I think it’s a lost opportunity.
My other problem is that these modular phones are all going to run Android. I can understand the reasons for this. I know it makes sense, but I’d really like to see some other operating systems available. In fact, more than that I’d like to see the ability to dual boot systems on modular phones, that would be consistent with having a modular phone. Makes sense doesn’t it? So why have only one OS? I don’t get it.
I hope that at least one of these companies can get it right and make a big step in the right direction, but at the moment I’m not convinced.
I’d never heard of this modular phone platform before today. It sounds awesome, not least because of the whole idea of being able to move bits of phone into my own super computer. That would be very cool.