In the past, when we were spinning CDs and keeping our cassettes from warping, we never would've imagined such a thing as a virtual reality. However, the past few years have been dedicated to making virtual reality an attainable concept. Companies such as Omni have even gone as far as to create an active virtual reality motion platform. With the development of VR experiences in video games, videos, and museum exhibitions, it's no doubt that this new concept would eventually be eventually implemented in the music industry. Just how, you may ask? Let's take a look at which artists are taking steps towards something truly groundbreaking.
In a partnership with Universal Music Group and creator of American Idol, Simon Fuller, ABBA have opted for a futuristic stance, choosing to provide an "original entertainment perspective"
. In an interview with Billboard
, Fuller reveals that his interest in creating a virtual reality with artificial intelligence is definitely in the making. When hearing Fuller's proposition, ABBA fell in love with the idea, eager to take on this new and exciting project. No news yet has been released about the process, but said information will be released in 2017. Benny Andersson, member of the Swedish pop group, stated that they're "inspired by the limitless possibilities of what the future holds and are loving being a part of creating something new and dramatic here - a time machine that captures the essence of who we were. And Are."
Bjork is another artist who's choosing to utilize virtual reality in her performances and music videos. Somehow I'm not surprised. Her style of music heavily embodies characteristics of the celestial and the utopian. It was only a matter of time until Bjork figured out a way to incorporate VR experiences into her work. Her virtual music videos have reached various museums, one being the Museum of Modern Art for her 2015 exhibition. The exhibition included a VR music video for her song "Black Lake," that led groups of 25 people within a room with multiple screens to experience the 360-degree show. Bjork currently has an exhibition installed at Montreal's DHC/ART Foundation for Contemporary Art which differs from the exhibition at the MoMA being that audiences are led into multiple studio rooms equipped with VR headsets and headphones. DHC founder Phoebe Greenburg states
that it "allows you to be incredibly intimate with Bjork's image."
Remember Fort Minor? Well after a ten-year hiatus, co-founder of Linkin Park Mike Shinoda revived his hip-hop side project in 2015, producing a 360-degree music video called "Welcome." You can tilt, move, and spin your smartphone to experience Shinoda's video which showcases him playing on the drums, guitar, and piano. Shinoda also lists out other multiple streaming systems
that allow you to amp up your virtual reality experience of the music video through headsets and even Google Cardboard.
Speaking of amping up...
As if this virtual reality concept couldn't get any cooler, Boiler Room
claims to take fans to "rave halfway across the world." How?! The company is apparently working with virtual reality company Inception to build a virtual venue for show goers. The venue itself hosts VR streams which people can then experience from the comfort of their homes with a headset. Set to open up in 2017, CEO Blaise Bellville states the upcoming plans
with excitement saying that it would "bring people even closer to what it's like being at a sweaty rave or an amazing concert half-way across the world."
We wonder if all these uses of virtual reality will essentially strip away the true experiences of concerts. But then again, we're pretty enamored with where this new concept will take the music industry and how it'll affect the future.