When I was introduced to musician Beatie Wolfe at the DLD conference in Munich last week, she was wearing a gold jacket with a pink and white design stitched into it, which she explained was an ‘encoding’ of one of her songs.
Wolfe, then, isn’t your everyday singer-songwriter. She looks for ways to give her music the physical experience that has been lost since we shifted from CDs and vinyl to digital consumption.
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Aside from the jacket, she released her first album as a 3D interactive app and her follow-up is available in the form of a deck of cards. Tap each card against a suitably NFC-enabled phone and you’ll be taken to a Web page where you can listen to the song and find out more about it.
That might sound like a lot of work compared with clicking ‘play’ and listening to the whole album in an app, but music used to be a lot more about ceremony – placing a needle in a groove, taking it off at the end of side one, flipping the disc and repeating. Far from a chore, it was about devoting time and attention to the music.
It’s a brilliant, inspiring idea that transcends novelty. If your favorite artist did this, it would be a collectors item – something to treasure and connect you with the music in a way that searching for it on Spotify simply can’t.
So bravo to Beatie Wolfe. More musicians should try this stuff.