Guest Column - Why 'iPad App albums' are the future for listening to AND watching music by FORSS
Swedish electronic group Forss have picked up the baton laid down by Bjork's iPad app release for Biophilia and attempted to create an "audio visual" album with their latest release Ecclesia - which is both a record and an app. In a guest column the band's Eric Wahlforss and Marcel Schobel argue that not only are 'App-albums' not a gimmick, but in an era of single track shuffling they could represent the future for getting listeners to re-engage with the album.
When we started talking about making an audiovisual app release we realized that we are staring at a blank canvas. Besides the Björk app and some other early experiments there was no conceptual framework to begin with. Unlike creating a music video, album artwork, an illustration or a painting there were no predecessors and we felt like looking into a deep void with endless possibilities.
There's a lot of experimentation going on and, frankly, most of it isn't very convincing. So we had to say no to a lot of things. Besides hardware restrictions that are unavoidable at this stage, our main concern was to come up with something that would create an intimate experience for the listener/viewer without taking away from the music.
We wanted Ecclesia the App to be a contemplative and personal experience working as a counter experience to music consumption as background noise while working out or sitting in front of your laptop checking mails. We found the iPad to be a magical device indeed. It's intuitive and elegant. As a medium it worked great for what we wanted to achieve - it's this window into a world that allows for lightweight interaction without distracting the listener.
And so with the Ecclesia app you have this audiovisual world in your pocket that allows you to have an intimate experience whenever you fire it up. We think it's just the beginning of a new generation of audiovisual experiences.
The end result is pretty minimal. The app combines modern electronic music based on field recordings in churches with dark, iconic visuals and together it forms this immersive and quite emotional experience. It combines the murky and old with the futuristic. For us as designers one of the key aspects was to define what is best for the music in order to further enhance the experience and not take away from it. A music app needs to create a stronger connection to the music than an ordinary digital release would.
Whereas traditional album artwork has lost its significance due to the overwhelming success of digital music and portable devices, music apps have opened a whole new door for artist expression. Besides the visual aspects it allows artists to release exclusive content that is only available within the app.
To many consumers the web has become this self-service shop where everything is fragmented and cheapened. Apps have the potential to deliver high quality content with a sense of exclusiveness. So we're really excited about Ecclesia and equally excited about what the future holds for music apps.
Eric Wahlforss & Marcel Schobel @Forssmusic
For more head to Forssmusic.com.
10:52 AM | 22/06/2012
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