As we all get to grips with the the innumerable ways to discover and digest media, more of which spring up every day, it’s easy to get excited about the challenges and opportunities ahead. These next few years can and will carry us in to a new age where entertainment is alive all around us.
Amidst all the innovation, hype, and clutter, the outlines of a new music industry are beginning to take some kind of blurry shape. Album “experiences” which deliver much more than an “iPad version” hold more promise than pretty much any format in the history of recorded media. The untold promise of classic albums like Ready To Die or Nevermind is rivalled only by the frenzy that continues today for more pictures, more video, more behind-the-scenes access to the components that made those masterpieces whole.
Bjork’s new album Biophilia embraces this potential with arms wide open, in a more instinctive, innovative and genuinely intimate way than similar recent offerings, like the visual opus which accompanied Kanye’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Nightmare or Swedish House Mafia’s multimedia-heavy “Until One” ipad App.
Although I have not seen the Apps in question yet, nor am I a huge fan of Bjork’s music, her approach has me enthusiastic about the future of the album and where we can take it next.
From The Guardian:
“The app that goes with the first single, Crystalline, includes a game in which you collect crystals in a tunnel, through which process you alter and customise the music. The app also includes an abstract version of the musical score; and an essay by Dibben that explains, in this case, how the structures of crystals relate to the musical structure of the song. The app for another song, Cosmogony, presents a 3D cosmos you can navigate. Each app has been created by a different – often rival – developer. “To me, it feels like the birth of opera or the birth of cinema,” says Snibbe.”