Buddha Machine 4 arrives somewhat unexpectedly on the app store! And what’s more it’s free too. How good is that?

Here’s the app’s description:

The Buddha Machine is a small plastic box that plays meditative music composed by Christiaan Virant and Zhang Jian.

Since its introduction in 2005, the Buddha Machine has won global praise for its novel approach to music enjoyment and has been used in hundreds of recording and performance projects from a wide range of artists.

The original Buddha Machine was released in 2005. It features nine tracks and comes in 7 colours.

Buddha Machine 2.0 was released in November 2008. It offers an additional 9 pieces of hypnotic music and adds a pitch-control, which allows you to change the speed of the music to suit your mood.

Buddha 3, dubbed Chan Fang 禅房, was released in winter 2010. It boasts higher audio quality and four long loops of Chinese classical music composed and recorded on the ancient Gu Qin.

Here is what a few other people say about the machine:

  • “It’s bliss” (The Washington Post)
  • “Beautifully useless” (New York Times)
  • “Addictive, spellbinding, hypnotic” (Santa Fe Reporter)
  • “Defiantly rough” (Wall Street Journal)
  • “Mesmerizing” (Pop Matters)
  • “I can’t stop playing with it” (Pitchfork)

FM3 is one of China’s leading groups working on sound. The group consists of Zhang Jian and Lao Zhao. FM3’s earlier works involve sound collected from the environment and theatrical performances. The invention of the Buddha Machine is a literal appropriation of everyday life, that converts sound frequency, noise and music into a looped sound hardware. This hardware first emerged around 2000, a time that contradicted the expressions through sound at the time. With the ubiquitous use handheld devices, this sound hardware became an interesting app. The concept of this sound software can fully mimic the interaction of the hardware and conveys the ideas to its users through its programming. Its transformation marks the paradox in the transition of the digital era.

The app is free on the store now:

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