Musician Beatie Wolfe 360-streams album from world’s quietest room
About: Beatie Wolfe is a London-based Anglo-American singer, songwriter, and digital art-innovator. Her new album “Raw Space” set a precedent for 360/AR music streaming.
On May 5, Wolfe launched the world’s first live 360 AR stream for her new album, “Raw Space”, from Nokia Bell Labs’ Anechoic Chamber, the quietest room on earth. The album physically streamed via a record player, on repeat for a week, in this raw sound environment with the artwork, lyrics, visual landscapes of the songs flying off the record and surrounding the listener. “My intention was to reinterpret the vinyl for today, and make it feel like it was coming to life around you,” says Wolfe.
Wolfe teamed up with Design I/O, a graphic design firm in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to produce the complementary stereoscopic visuals for each song, which transported the listener into the world of that track. With every spin of the record the AR visuals would evolve, responding to the music in real-time, so that each user would see different effects upon logging in.
Theo Watson of Design IO working on live AR performance
Beatie Wolfe’s Raw Space follows in the footsteps of John Cage and Andy Warhol, both past collaborators of Bell Labs’ for its E.A.T. program and the live album stream evokes the spirit of John Cage for his explorations of sound and Warhol for his explorations of visual art.
“Raw Space” world’s first live 360/AR Stream “The Man Who”
Wolfe explains that with this project, she hopes to “create the antithesis of our current streaming experience and really celebrate the world of the album — its artwork, arc, narrative, music — in a fully immersive and multi-sensory way, which has the effect of placing the listener at the centre of this dynamic world.” For her, it’s about “using technology to bring back some of music’s old school magic.”
“Raw Space will bring into play a technological first, combining live, 360˚ stereoscopic video and real-time generative AR visuals to create a modern, Fantasia-like live streamed album experience that can be viewed on VR headsets, tablets, and smartphones,” notes Theo Watson of award-winning technologists Design I/O, which has worked on interactive experiences at both the Tate and MOMA.
Her project is part of Bell Labs’ Experiments in Art and Technology, a 50-year-old program bringing together engineers and technologists with artists to create new work. For more information, please visit beatiewolfe.com.