We have HTML5 to thank for a 2010
full of multimedia music projects. A trend arguably jumpstarted by “The Wilderness Downtown,”
director Chris Milk’s
Google Maps-integrated video for Arcade Fire
, the doctrine of pop music promotion was all but rewritten to emphasize the necessity of fan interaction. So far, in 2011, artists are becoming even more collaborative with their followers.
Robyn’s Interactive Beat Machine:
It took 13 years for Swedish chanteuse Robyn to find a second US hit; now, she may be reinventing more than just her image. Following the release of three dance anthems
accompanied by decidedly spry videos, Robyn announced “We Dance to the Beat”
as her next single. For this one, she incorporated her Interactive Beat Machine
, a user-driven audio and visual mixer. Prompted by the words “Let’s do this,” fans enter their names before exploring and adapting a grid of evocative visuals, each matched to a specific element of the sound mix. At the start of each customized beat, robotic vocals chant “We Dance to the Beat of (User’s Name Here)” for an additional personalized thrill.
R.E.M.’s “It Happened Today” Remix Project:
Some new school music promotions are centered on visual manipulation, like Black Eyed Peas’ new 360-degree music video
. R.E.M.’s “It Happened Today”
Remix Project, on the other hand, is an exercise in pure audio experimentation. In what seems like an attempt to skew the band’s core Gen X fan base younger, producer Jacknife Lee released deconstructed tracks from the new single in a file format that can be imported into programs like GarageBand
. Fans can then remix the song and upload their interpretations onto SoundCloud
, where visitors, taking advantage of the site’s Creative Commons
license, can download the resulting remixes and remix them further (provided they don’t market their versions commercially). Check out a few examples here
The Streets’ Computers and Blues Short Film:
A single tweet
can be all it takes to launch a video into the viral stratosphere. In an apparent attempt to prove the point, (very recently retired
) rapper Mike Skinner (a.k.a., The Streets
), conceived “Computers and Blues”
, an interactive “leak” of his swan song collection that served as a teaser prior to the album’s official release. Rather than surrendering complete creative license, Skinner leads YouTube viewers on a Choose Your Own Adventure-inspired journey. Should he go in search of food or “smoke 6 tabs to the nub?” To ensure a narrative thread as users click, the YouTube video is officially “unlisted,” so that only those with the starting link can take the trip.