iOS Music Tunes: Morphogenetic Fields by Budapest Dream Orchestra

by chip on August 28, 2013

Every week, iOS Music Tunes will feature a piece of music made with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod – directly from one of our readers. There’s a lot of artistic potential in iOS devices, and iOS Music And You readers are putting all the fantastic tools to use in creative and exciting ways. This regular feature will be an opportunity to appreciate the interesting things that our readers are doing with iOS music, get some new ideas, and kickstart the creative process. If you’ve made some music with an iPad, iPhone, or iPod that you want to share, submit it now – you can get the info HERE. Now sit back and enjoy today’s featured reader on iOS Music Tunes . . .

One of the things that people tell me they love the most about the iOS Music Tunes feature is the insight that they gain into other musicians’ creative process and their use of different iOS apps. We’ll continue doing that here, but I also wanted to let you know about another opportunity to get a closer look at one musician’s ideas about music creation. Niclas Tamas creates music using iOS devices under the name Budapest Dream Orchestra, delivering large scale, detailed pieces, full of musicality and a deep conceptual foundation. There’s a lot of thought that goes into Niclas’ music, and that means there’s a lot to learn from the way that he creates music. He’s offering a great opportunity to follow him through the creative process as he creates his latest piece, The Laws Of Mechanics And Beyond. Niclas is keeping a diary while he writes this piece, which he estimates to be done roughly in a year. He wants to share this diary with the public, letting us all be a part of the creative process as he moves towards completing the piece.

Here’s what Niclas has to say about the piece and the diary:

This is an invitation to read my musical diary during the creation of the piece The Laws of Mechanics And Beyond, scheduled release autumn 2014. I will keep writing about my creative process, workflows, project management, app techniques and things I discover. Mixed with reflections on my everyday life. The diary will be mailed the first Saturday every month. The first part covers 25th of May to 29th of July. If you would like to read the diary, please get in touch with me and I’ll put you on the list.


This sounds like an amazing chance to really get inside Niclas’ process – I’m in, and I hope that you’ll join too. I wanted you to see the depth of Niclas’ musical abilities and the wide range of thoughts behind his music, so I’ve included some of his work below. This piece, Morphogenetic Fields, contains 43 minutes of music with a specific conceptual focus – you can read Niclas’ comments on the piece below the SoundCloud embed. This is some amazing music, so give it a listen, check out the description, and then subscribe to the diary!

Morphogenetic Fields
Budpest Dream Orchestra

There are some key musical elements that binds this forty minute piece together.

On my stay in Budapest during the summer of 2012, I did a lot of field recordings. One of them emerged naturally as the glue for this piece – a tram ride on route 4 from Szent István körút in Pest over Margit Hid to Margit Körút on the Buda side. This theme reoccurs and different sounds form vital ingridients in the musical structure.

I introduce two new elements in the suite Pieces Of Life in Morphogenetic Fields – voice and symphonic arrangements. There are two voice samples used and they are given the leading part for the third and fourth movement. The first voice sample is Ronald Reagan’s speech in West Berlin on the 12th of June 1987 where he urges Mr. Gorbatjov to “tear down this wall”.

The other is the voice of Mr. Imre Nagy, Hungary’s Prime Minister, on Radio Kossuth on the 25th of October 1956 during the uprising against the Soviet occupation of Hungary. The speech promises “the far-reaching democratization of Hungarian public life”.

The third voice is my own reading the text:
“A favourite theme in science fiction is the portal. An extra ordinary opening in space or time that connects travellers to distant realms. A good portal is a shortcut, a guide, a door into the unknown. If only they actually excisted. It turns out that they do”

By combining the voices of Mr. Reagan, Mr. Nagy, and myself with the field recording of my tram ride, I create my own morphogenetic field. Influenced by events that shaped my life from the ground up. But they are events that in no way have I taken part in. Still, these events have influenced my life, and they play a major part in shaping who I am, both as a person and a human being.

The only exception from my iPhone purist view of composing, mixing and producing is Gestrument. The symphonic theme for the sixth, seventh and eighth movements are composed in Gestrument and Audio Copy/Pasted into NanoStudio using mail and AudioShare.

Morphogenetic Fields is divided into eight five minute movements set apart by silence. I concider each movement as a stand alone part within the frame work. This approach by dividing the piece with silence is a new approach introduced in Morphogenetic Fields. It’s predecessors have been continuous streams from A to B. The eight morphogenetic fields form and influence the morphic field.

The Movements
In the first movement, the tram ride and the existence of portals are established. A lush wave theme created in Sunrizer is introduced along with the basic rythm sound. This sound is a processed sample taken from the tram ride field recording.

These sounds will re-occur in the following movements. The processed field recording is repeated four times with different velocities, making it come and go in the background. It establishes the feeling of an onward movement, which creates a pace and an atmosphere.

The second movement consists of two parts. It is divided in the middle, marked by distinct sounds from the tram ride. Two elements and a theme is introduced. Firstly, there’s a deep bass which brings along a deep motion. Secondly, there are three different pads, all lush and atmospheric. In combination with the long bass notes, they create some very deep sounding and beautiful soundscapes. The theme consists of five notes, played in different ways that form the first melody. This melody returns in the third movement.

The first two movements have a relaxing ambient atmosphere with interchanging soundscapes for the listener. The third movement starts with a dramatic string theme created in Gestrument and a hollow time bending sound from Alchemy. The morphic fields are starting to interact and searching for new ways. The theme introduced in the first movement appears in yet another disguise, but quite distinguishable. Then the first loop of Mr. Reagan’s speech plays. It will repeat four times, dividing this movement into four subparts. The theme initially started in the first movement resolves itself here right after the second Reagan loop, opening up the piece and the journey forward.

In the fourth movement, the overall ambient atmosphere returns. The piece glides into a more reflective state and this movement is arranged as four meditative parts. All introduced and paced by Mr. Imre Nagy’s speech on Kossuth Radio in 1956. This is accompanied by the Sunrizer wave like theme from the first movement. A series of short bursts of EP-clusters from the magnificent Eden synth creates a dreamy and vintage like soundscape. Between the loops of Mr. Nagy, the tramride pushes itself into focus. Details such as the driver’s announcements, the signal from opening and closing doors and the attention signal for the next stop is clearly audiable by the listener. They form a subtle and recognisable pattern.

The fifth movement is the middle movement. Its theme is a four note song sung by a light female voice from Alchemy. The wave like Sunrizer pads keeps creating a dreamy atmosphere along with a simplified variation of the EP-cluster. The tram field recording steps up even more in this movement. At this point, the different tram sounds are an integral part of the music. You can for instance hear the characteristic bell sound clearly intergrated as part of the music in this movement. In the latter part of this movement a new sound is introduced, the electric birds. They will sing the theme in the preceding movement. The sampled rhythm sound picks up again after not being heard since the second movement. All this combined is picking up the pace and leading the listener into the finishing movements of Morphogenetic Fields.

The sixth movement starts with a symphonic theme of brass and strings; it is the main theme for the beginning of the final movements. The theme reveals joy and the fanfare like brass calls for attention. The theme re-occurs four times – between them, the deep bass returns from the third movement to build structure and tempo. A little melody is repeated twice with an Eden sound that only appears here. Its light and joyful pitch contrasts to the heavy artillery of the brass and string theme for this movement. Further on we hear the electric birds talking to each other again. This movement builds momentum for the two finishing movements of Morphogenetic Fields. And we clearly hear the tram ride, regardless of the lower velocity setting. It has at this point established itself as the key element in the listeners sound structure.

The seventh and eighth movements form a distinct final part of Morphogenetic Fields. They are closely connected, yet separated by silence. The main closing theme is introduced by a string orchestra in the seventh movement and continued in the eight, adding a piano. The seventh movement is like the previous sixth movement divided into four sub parts. The brass is gone and the string theme awakes a melancholy feeling of loss. The deep bass returns and along with another Eden sound and a sampling, they enhance the illusion of movement from the tram field recording. In sub part two and three a melody is made a temporary lead. Then the last voice sample appears. About the portal and travels in space or time.

The eighth movement consists of a string and piano theme. It resembles a typical adagio mid movement of a romantic piano concerto. It is repeated twice and divides this last movement into two separate parts. The electric birds return giving the first part a pastoral flavour. The second part is announcing the end of the listeners journey. Only piano, strings and a low velocity tweaked 7th Heavan pad from Eden.

After the final piano note there is only the fading out of the tram ride left accompanied by the last appearance of the electric birds. The journey has ended and reached its final destination.

Check out more music from Budapest Dream Orchestra on Niclas’ SoundCloud site.

Check Out More iOS Music Tunes:
iOS Music Tunes: Notice me by Craig Heckrath
iOS Music Tunes: The Price Of Patriotism by Chip Boaz
iOS Music Tunes: You Should Be Afria by Stacy Puckett
iOS Music Tunes: Meat Market by We Painted Monsters

Are you making music on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod? Do you want to share your music with the iOS Music And You community? Beginner, intermediate, or advanced – it doesn’t matter. Just fill out a few quick questions and send me a link to your music. We’ll feature you in one of these Monday spots! Don’t hesitate – let’s hear the great work that you’ve been doing with iOS Music. Get the details HERE.


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