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05/07/2017
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Watch World's First AR Music Stream In 360 Now

This is the World's first LIVE 360˚ AR stream… with the vinyl playing on repeat for 7 days from the quietest room on earth and the album's artwork evolving in live Augmented Reality with every spin!

Described as "the Fantasia for the album in the streaming age", you can experience the album in this new, multi-sensory with the all artwork, lyrics, visual landscape of the songs coming to life around you as you listen to the record in the world's quietest room. Raw Space goes live for 7 days, from May 5th, as the world's first real-time, 360˚ AR stream. \\ Epilepsy Warning // More below…

On May 5th at 11am EST, the needle drops in one of the most silent rooms on Earth. A record starts to play, streaming live in anechoic sound to anyone who logs in. Words, colors, and fantastic visions will leap from the grooves, as synched visuals create a 360˚ world of imagery to complement each song in full augmented reality.

This is Raw Space, the latest “world’s-first” album experience by British singer-songwriter and digital art-innovator Beatie Wolfe, in collaboration with interactive creative firm Design I/O and the world-renowned Nokia Bell Labs.

“For ‘Raw Space,’ I wanted to create the antithesis of our current streaming experience, which is somewhat compressed both sonically and creatively, or rather to create what I feel streaming music can be, 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 center of this dynamic world,” explains Wolfe. “Launching this out of one of the world’s quietest rooms has the effect of immediately instilling a sense of ceremony into this experience, both quieting the ‘noise’ around and allowing the listener to hear the true sound of sound.”

The 'Raw Space' experience will launch May 5, 2017 as a 24-hour, week long, 360˚ real-time streaming experience and as a series of live VIP Augmented Reality performances in the new performance space built around the Nokia Bell Labs' anechoic chamber. Its launch builds on 50-years of Experiments in Art and Technology (E.A.T.) pioneered by Bell Labs together with collaborators such as John Cage, Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol, and now including Beatie in this panoply of artists pushing the boundaries of physical and digital expression.

“We are delighted to be working with the remarkable Beatie Wolfe on her highly disruptive Raw Space album experience, which looks at the intersection of art and tech in a truly inspired way. As Bell Labs celebrates the next 50 years of E.A.T., I couldn't think of a better project or artistic collaborator to champion the next phase of this defining exploration of the human possibilities of technology,” said Marcus Weldon, President of Nokia Bell Labs and CTO of Nokia.

"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.

Read more below from A Journal of musical things.

Not too long ago we questioned where music fits into virtual reality, and it seems like one creative artist has found the answer. Anglo-American singer-songwriter Beatie Wolfe is currently streaming an augmented virtual reality album experience on YouTube that is a mouthful to describe, but quite possibly our first glimpse into the future of music – and the only way you’ll catch it is if you tune in.

Here’s how it works. Wolfe’s newest album, Raw Space, is currently streaming from the world’s oldest anechoic chamber at Nokia Bell Labs. An anechoic chamber is a specially-engineered room that absorbs absolutely all sound; it’s completely sonically isolated from the outside world, and essentially dead silent. So silent, in fact, that spending too long in it can make hearing your own heartbeat drive you mad. And inside that chamber, a Raw Space vinyl is spinning in front of a 360-degree camera. All around that camera vibrant landscapes, moving figures, floating lyrics and imaginative animations are all unfolding in time with the music – but they’re not real. They’re actually examples of augmented reality: computer-generated images that expand on the reality you’re already seeing. Created by interactive company Design I/O with Beatie Wolfe’s album in mind, the Raw Space project is streaming right now on YouTube. And of course, if you’ve got a VR headset, you can digitally step into the room using the 360 camera. Don’t worry if you haven’t, though – pretty much any screen can make it work.

The installation is a groundbreaking way to experience music, which is all in a day’s work for Beatie Wolfe. She’s known as an imaginative artist who uses technology to bring tangible, interactive experiences to her music. Take her debut album 8ight, for instance. It was actually released as a 3D interactive iPhone app in 2013, rather than a simple CD or mp3 download. Or her second album Montagu Square, which was disseminated through a pack of printed cards implanted with computer chips that beamed the music to a companion app on your phone. Or finally, the single “Take Me Home” from Montagu Square, which was available by tapping your phone on a special musical jacket Wolfe wore with chips woven into the fabric.

All this to say the AR/VR experience of Raw Space isn’t the first technological innovation Beatie Wolfe has tied into her music, and surely won’t be the last. The stream is only live for a week, so if you’re curious to see what it’s like (or are a Wolfe fan and want to hear the album) be sure to tune in right away. The experience is different depending on when you watch/listen so check back often. In the meantime, we’ll just marvel at the exclusive digital destination listening Wolfe has created – and wonder where technology will take music next."