Recollections of PalmSounds: Justin – Unthinkable

It’s been lovely to get so many responses from so many people to celebrate PalmSounds turning 10 years old this month. But this one from Justin really tells a story …

“I can’t quite remember when I first found Palm Sounds, but it went something like this. I’d just bought my first iPhone and wanted to know what music making stuff was available for it. One google search later and I couldn’t believe my luck. It seemed that someone was dedicating their life to answering my question in the fullest way possible. The Palm Sounds blog was one of those things, that hopefully we all have, that reminded my why the web is still a very good thing. This was not just a website but a human mission to fill a gap in our understanding of the world, and its emerging potential.

Can you imagine my stages of grief then when about a year later I read a post saying that it was all coming to an end – the mission was eating up too much its creators life. Ashley Elsdon the man behind Palm Sounds was telling me the party was over. Well I simply stayed in the denial phase. I left his blog in my feed reader, dead as a donut. Every few weeks I’d check in again and re-read that final post for clues.

My own interest in digital music making is a long one and at this time I had started doing creative projects with the fabulous arts organisation Heart n Soul. I was starting to think about ways that iPhones and iPads could be used by people with learning disabilities to make their own music and develop their expressivity. Of course I turned to Palm Sounds, now an immense archive and showed my boss at Heart n Soul what was now possible. To my joy and surprise the constant pressure that Ashley’s fans had put on him to get back in the saddle had worked – Palm Sounds was back!

Well this time I wasn’t going to let this slip through my fingers, so I got in touch and asked if we could meet for lunch, like a proper stalker. We met, we got on, we had the most expansive of conversations and I determined that this was a man I’d like to work with. As soon as an opportunity arose I pulled Ashley in to my own company Unthinkable as an expert advisor. I now know why Palm Sounds is so good and was so ahead of its time, it is driven by the most humble and dedicated visionary I’ve met. Here is to the next 10 years – cheers!”

Justin – Director at Unthinkable.

I have to add that it’s been great to be a part of the work that Justin pulled me into at SoundLab and to be a part of the team at Unthinkable too.


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