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.
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.