TooFar Media is a storytelling experience that transcends the regular boundaries of the term “app”.
TooFar Media is something very, very different than you might be used to. It is a culmination of painstaking storytelling – a series of stories by Rich Shapero, combined with music and art corresponding to each individual chapter you read.
This all-inclusive form of storytelling is unique in that everything is designed to be greater than the sum of its parts. Taken on their own, either the artwork, the music or just the books themselves, they lack the all-encompassing power that the app experience provides.
On first using the app, you are presented with a small tutorial instructing you how to navigate through TooFar Media. The design is quite intuitive, allowing you to part the screen by pulling your fingers from the center outwards, opening the page from the middle in a burst of fire to climb down below to the music.
From the musical tab, you can turn on the music so as to accompany the text. You are provided with the lyrics, as well as a smoky, rustic design permeating the entire screen.
From the music tab, you can part the sea once more to plunge deep downwards into the artwork. Every section of the books provided in TooFar Media are accompanied by beautiful paintings. The painstaking brushstrokes are evident in the art, as you are able to zoom right in to see the individual strokes that give the art its exquisite detail.
Once you’ve commenced the music and gazed at the artwork, it’s time to actually begin the full experience and start reading the book.[sc name=”quote” text=”Once you’ve commenced the music and gazed at the artwork, it’s time to actually begin the full experience and start reading the book.”]
When an app has music, it is usually for a very specific purpose. Even if it’s a simple game and its music is seemingly only there to provide a background to your gameplay, it still provides an important service.
In the case of TooFar Media, the music couldn’t be any more perfect.
The slow, haunting notes of the song begin just as you read the first lines of the book. As you read, the music shifts and alters, becoming something entirely different and otherworldly, corresponding near exactly with the shifting reality of the text. As the main character experiences fear and longing, combined with confusion and frustration, the music itself picks up into a shattering crescendo.
The sudden clarity and intensity of the music will make you sit bolt upright, alarmed yet serenaded, perfectly matching the tone and feeling within the text.
This otherworldly feeling, this sense of transcending reality through the text is typical of Rich Shapero’s work.[sc name=”quote” text=”This otherworldly feeling, this sense of transcending reality through the text is typical of Rich Shapero’s work!”]
Rich Shapero has been an author for several years and his texts are well known for being an adventure into other worlds.
The stories told by Shapero are ones of alternate worlds, wherein characters have experiences close and familiar to mankind but in a wholly different landscape.
The main text on offer in TooFar Media is Rin, Tongue and Dorner, a story exploring the nature of human desire, conflict and its consequences.
As with all Rich Shapero books, the entire experience is designed to be felt as one. The texts alone tell a powerful story of inner struggle and love, but the music and artwork come together to create something entirely different.
The music, is consistently haunting and powerful. Designed to coincide with the events of the novel, the music will take you on a journey that follows the book’s, shocking and frightening you one moment, then soothing and seducing you the next.
The artwork, which exists as a final accompaniment to the stories, is by Eugene Von Bruenchenhein. This self-taught artist from Milwaukee produced over one thousand paintings featuring apocalyptical landscapes smeared with colour. Unloved and unnoticed in his time, von Bruenchenhein’s work is considered today the hallmark of self-taught art.
His paintings, composed of careful brushstrokes and intricate patterns, are a perfect pairing with Rich Shapero’s stories – they tell a story of a different world, one close to apocalypse and marred by human strife. As you read the texts and listen to the music and frequently delve deep through the parting tabs to zoom in on the artwork. You may shock yourself to discover its meaning changes as you read the text.[sc name=”quote” text=”You may shock yourself to discover its meaning changes as you read the text!”]
TooFar Media is an app that’s very existence is evidence for the burgeoning variety available on the app store. It represents the efforts of all those that have come before to help push apps past the simple boundary of just being games or convenience apps.
TooFar Media is not just a book, but something altogether more sinister and powerful. An all-encompassing interactive experience replete with color, music and emotion, this app will blow you away with its assailment of your senses.
You will read a story that will take you on a journey to other worlds, all while having your ears filled with the overwhelming sensation of majesty and beauty, then be able to dwell on the text with artwork that resonates with meaning and symbolism.
Rich Shapero writes about the conflict of human emotion and desire, yet there is anything but conflict in TooFar Media’s eloquent blending of music, art and literature.
[review pros=”A complete interactive story experience. Overwhelming intensity of music, art and story.” cons=”The music is so wonderful that, when the current song ends and you still need to finish the chapter, it can feel somewhat empty.” score=9]
[appbox appstore id1093826194]
[appbox googleplay com.richshapero.tfma]