Forss has announced ‘Ecclesia’, an innovative, audio-visual album that combines electronic music with a stunning app for the iPad. It’s an album of music whose core inspiration is the church, created by an unlikely team of an agnostic Swedish electronic music producer, a graphic designer from Vienna and a CGI artist from Germany. It presents a fascinating dichotomy - on one hand, church music is some of the oldest in Europe, while the form Forss takes - electronica with fully integrated apps - couldn’t be more contemporary and cutting edge.
Having grown to love the ecclesiastical music of church organs and choirs as a child, Swedish-born electronica artist, Forss creator and founder and CTO of SoundCloud, Eric Wahlforss wanted to recreate the essence of what a church is via the medium of electronic music and set about to compose and create ‘Ecclesia’. Reflecting that a church with an organ inside it is basically the biggest instrument in the world Eric is inspired by church music as an art form: “To me there is something magical about choir music in particular. It is untouchable - a higher art form that I have never been able to practice myself. It has a very strong emotional impact on me in general. It is the music I regard the highest.”
He used two sources of raw material to compose the music. The first, which makes up the main palette of sound, consists of recordings of strings, choirs and organ played during church concerts as well as ambient noise created by the congregants. These have been cut up into tiny fragments and rearranged into a new mosaic of celestial noise. The second is the sample bank of noises made by wooden, stone and metal objects recorded in church that make up beats and percussion. These are the plosive, rhythmical noises that provide the link between the traditional to modern electronica.
After the first Forss album ‘Soulhack’, a down-tempo electronic album, was released in 2003, Eric has now teamed up with two digital artists, Leo Lass of the Viennese audio-visual team Depart and CGI artist Marcel Schobel to bring ‘Ecclesia’ to life on the iPad. When the app is launched, the user is drawn into a digital world of sculptures and scenes of intuitive album art which can be travelled through and around, with the journey having subtle effects on the music and vice versa.