After the great KOBOI EP and the internationally acclaimed song and videoclip “It’s Happening”, the transmedia artist KnoR presents his new project entitled “Don’t Go”.
Don’t Go not only features the above music video. but also a mobile app. We caught up with him and talked about his release and virtual reality.
Why Virtual Reality?
Virtual reality had an essential role in this production from the very beginning, in regard of content and storytelling.
My generation has witnessed the end of television and the rise of social media. Virtual reality and augmented reality are announced as the next big chasms in media technology. The way we will diffuse, manipulate and deal with information might change drastically.
Don’t Go is a transmedia project that intends to question the relation between social and political structures of western societies . One core topic of the project is a reflection about media and the resurgence of propaganda in modern societies.
The VR application is intended to offer a digital hide-away, putting the user in an immersive space where his brain gets total distraction. The user might have a great time and he’s able to forget his fears for a moment. A moment of bliss, that’s what we are hopping for.
Do you think that more musicians jump on the format?
I think that lots of media production will feature VR as a core or side product in the future. Every digital platform will be set up to run VR in addition to other media services. It starts with our smartphones today, PCs and labtops tomorrow and nobody can tell where it will end. Fridges?
Musician and artists in general, always used the latest technological advancement to develop their discourse and productions. Much like music, video or web, the production barriers of VR will drop quickly and make this new type of media accessible to most creators soon.
As for transmedia storytelling, I think that it is rather unique to use it for artistic purposes, especially in combination with pop elements and new technologies. I hope that Don’t Go will encourage some people to think of the topics I point at in the song, the video and the app and that it will inspire creators to embrace new technologies to spread beautiful messages across the world.
Do you need a lot of resources to get something like this off the ground?
The whole project, meaning the EP, the movie and the application took me roughly six months. Everything, except music production, was rather new to me and it took me a while to assess the amount of tasks and how much energy and work I should invest in each step. I have learned a lot and will definitely plan the next production more precisely in terms of time scale, thus saving lots of energy and probably some money. Now, I am a bit tired, yes, but it feels good.
What is the effect of prolonged use of this app on the user? I’m curious what your record is in this VR immersion?
This has still to be scienced out! We should try to find someone who is willing to spend 2 days in our application. The Berlin based game enthusiast Thorsten S Wiedemann just spent that amount of time in Virtual Reality. He seemed happy and normal after his experience. We should ask him if he’d be willing to do it with our application.
For myself, I have spent hours in our immersive space and I still enjoy it a lot.The crazy thing about it, is that you can focus on another bit of the animations every time you use the application. Being rather minimalistic in terms of design, the virtual world turns out to be surprisingly immersive and rich. It’s a piece of media art in virtual reality and it is pretty unique. I am very proud of it.
Are you gonna go deeper with this format? Explore it some more..
I will continue to follow the development of technology closely and use it as a source of inspiration for my future work. Virtual reality fitted in our current concept, but as far as I can tell, it will not be at the center of my next project. Film will remain the constant for now, as will be a rather political perspective. I think it’s important.
We will definitely keep up with the development of the app. In the end, the ideal storyline of the application would be totally generative, delivering another unexpected and awesome experience every time you use it.
In the press release it says that you consider yourself more of a storyteller with a transmedia approach than a musician – can you explain?
Every song tells a story. After 20 years of musical experience as a drummer and electronic producer, I started to sing to my compositions about a year ago. As soon as I finished the recording of my first song called “It’s Happening”, I had these pictures in mind: the life span of a hitman in a cartooned far west atmosphere. We transformed the idea into an animated movie with my friend Xaver Xylophon. When I saw the first drafts, it was like a revelation: I just discovered a blue ocean of creative possibilities. And now I learn to swim.
Does this mean that at some point you could also fully abandon music making in favor of another format that will enable you to work with the narrative components better?
For me, the beautifulest thing about music is the depth that it gives to your memories – Like a smell you can just replay it as you recall images from the past. While we often don’t notice them, sweet melodies form deep patterns in our lives. I will always come back to music, that’s where my inspiration is kept.
More Songs, more Analogue Synths, more beats, more movies, a tour in Europe “at the Border” and a new project later this year featuring performances, buzz marketing and political disruption “à la mode” Swiss. Hope you will follow that on one of the channels!
You can get Don’t Go directly from his bandcamp.