Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Sunday, 5 June 2016

VR pioneered by Beatles and Bjork

See the video here.
The industry keeps changing, and the pace of evolution is speeding up even further, reflecting the fast pace of technological change. A staple of sci-fi movies and series, VR is now filtering through into music video, with smartphone-connected headsets seeing this advanced technology become yet another converged offshoot of digitisation. 

(Quotes below sources: Bjork; McCartney)

Bjork has been a pioneer of utilising new technology for music promotions/expression for 2 decades, so its no suprise to see she's amongst the first to embrace the possibilities of VR:
Few among those musical stars that came of age in the 90s have evolved in such complex and interesting ways, carrying their old fans into the future and picking up a whole heap of new ones along the way. A clue to her evolution may lie in her unusual collaborations with designers, scientists, software developers, composers, instrument makers, app makers and film directors.
She has been planning VR content for years, and stresses the intimacy of the technology.
When I started working on virtual reality, it was a home for my music. It’s a journey you are on: the fact that you have your own theatre and you have this psychological drama.
At the same time, I realised it would be a couple of years before people would have this technology in their homes. It would be an impossible feat to do – it’s like going to the moon. I thought, OK, the way to do it is for people to have a place to go to and watch the videos, and it would be like a workshop and work-in-progress and if people want to see it, they can have somewhere to come.
The older I get the more I understand what is special about how we experience music. It’s either one-on-one, or thousands of people at a festival where you lose yourself. It’s not intellectual, it’s impulsive. Virtual reality is a natural continuity of that. It has a lot of intimacy. As a musician to be intimate is really important. If you want to express certain details, it’s an opportunity to do that.
It’s no coincidence that the porn industry has embraced virtual reality. The penetration is really intimate. It’s really exciting to place to be.
read more from the design company here.

Perhaps more surprising is 60s icon Paul McCartney launching a VR series.
When we think of the Beatles, we think of black-and-white television footage, 45s playing on a turntable, and their reluctance to embrace streaming. It’s ironic then that Paul McCartney, of all people, is helping to launch virtual reality to the masses.
With the help of VR app Jaunt, McCartney is in the process of broadcasting the six-part VR documentary series Pure McCartney VR ...
The noted music video director Tony Kaye (best known for directing American History X) filmed McCartney telling the stories behind some of his most famous singles while hanging out and playing instruments in his home studio. Viewers can watch online at Jaunt’s website, but to get the full experience they should download the app and either watch on a cellphone with a Google Cardboard or fancier VR headsets.
Each clip, which ranges from three to six minutes, is filmed in 360 degrees. When watched with the app, viewers can swivel their head around and change directions to see all the details around the room. 
See Macca's VR work at Jaunt.

The McCartney series could well help to boost or accelerate the technology's take-up with an older audience:
Virtual reality is set to become a billion-dollar industry. Most young people are going to be introduced to its wonders through videogames (or, more likely, porn) but this series might be just the thing to get baby boomers to strap on some goggles for the first time and figure out how this new-fangled technology works. And once this excites them, like playing Love Me Do once did on a phonograph, just wait until they get their hands on something really good.

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