“Since Thomas Edison invented the phonograph, there has been only one way to listen to recorded music: Listen to it. That is, to consume passively a precise sequence of sounds exactly as they have been arranged. But what if, in addition to songs, a musician provided intuitive, creative tools that let you control the basic components of the music itself? What if the musician joined with programmers and visual artists to turn the songs into encompassing interactive experiences? What if listeners were to become participants?”
Its not a startup nor is it from the bowels of MIT or CalTech but from the feverishly creative mind of Bjork. Her new album has a version that is available to interact with via the iPad platform. While this appraoch has been done before, Bjork has, god help me, taken it to a new level. An audience engages the songs through new mental models and systems of interaction that reward the user not just with music but a deeper knowedge of how it was composed and, even, where the theory comes from. You learn about modes such as: mixolydian augmented and Balinese pentatonic.
While I love what bands have done with HTML 5 technology smashing together with your social graph and creating a unique mix to the song, this new approach from our petite muse invites her audience to go beyond a passive role and step into an active, learning role.