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Five artists who are pushing the digital frontier

Five artists who are pushing the digital frontier

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Published by: Crowdsourcing.org on Nov 23, 2011
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02/03/2013

 
Five artists who are pushing the digital frontier
The face of the music industry was irrevocably altered when the digital agedawned, changing the way people obtained, listened to and interacted withmusic. In this precarious new world some artists chose not to simply accept themove to a more interactive digital presence
but have truly immersedthemselves in all the facets that digital technology offers them as creative beings.Whether that means hosting fun and thought-provoking online campaigns oreven releasing an entire album as an App
 
these artists “get” tech and what it
can do for their music.
 
Whe
n it comes to artists who aren‟t afraid of pushing the digital frontier, Arcade
Fire stands out. In August 2010 the band released an online interactive music video
for the track “We used to wait” from the album “The Suburbs”. What could only
really be desc
ribed as an interactive musical experience, the project dubbed “
was a mixture of Google Maps and some experimental
HTML5 trickery that resulted in a beautiful, heart wrenching, nostalgia inducingand quite literal trip down memory lane. Upon entering the address of yourchildhood neighbourhood the video renders an amalgamation of Google streetview footage, satellite images and pre-designed animations to create the entireexperience through an elaborate array of pop-up windows that come together in aharmonious masterpiece.On top of this, the band teamed up with Vevo and YouTube to perform a live
streamed show from New York City‟s
Madison Square Garden.The performancewas viewed by over 3.7-
million users on the world‟s most popular video sharingsite. YouTube even included a bunch of interactive features including “chooseyour cam”, giving users the abilit
y to choose the angle from which they want to seethe stage as well as a massive projection of images of childhood suburbs that weresubmitted directly and in real-time by the viewers. Oh and did I mention that themain stream was directed by the illusiveTerry Gilliam 
 — 
whose has maintainedlegendary status from his time on
Monty Python’s Flying Circus
through tocontemporary works like
 Brazil
and
Tree of Life
.
 Strange, ethereal being and all-round kook Björk has taken her already innovativeideas to the next level with her latest project,
 Biophilia
.
 Biophilia
is a sprawling,ambitious venture which sees this unique artist exploring the convergence of 
music, nature and technology. The “album”, if you can call it that, takes the form
of a beautiful and mesmerizing iPhone app that simulates a galaxy of interactivecontent which includes songs amongst other things.
 
Every “song”, s
o to speak, also takes the form of an individual app which whendownloaded unlocks another star in the intricate galaxy of 
 Biophilia
.Within each of these song apps one can expect to find an original song, but alsointeractive games and visualizations that bring the ideas and concepts behind eachsong to life
 — 
complete with narration by David Attenborough.  Each track, and
 Biophilia
as a whole, ponders the mysteries and marvels of ouruniverse while imparting little pockets of knowledge about it all. While immersedin
 Biophilia
, one notes how Björk could not have undertaken such an immensemusical project were it not for the recent advances of touch technology. Withoutthe crystal clear, responsive surfaces of iPads and iphones,
 Biophilia
would beunthinkable. Even if Björk is not exactly your cup of tea, you have to admit that aproject on so grand a scale is commendable if not downright impressive.

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