· transmedia Research Music

Experiential Product Design

Music 2020 — Transmedia Storytelling in Music

I'm beginning to plan my MA thesis for 2014 and these are my first ideas about what I'm doing. As this feels a long time in the future, and doing this will take me a long time, I'm betting on some of the most visible macro trends to hold true for the next 2 years.

I am assuming that in the attention economy, a single type of media (just an album, just a video) is no longer sufficient to capture the full attention of a viewer for a prolonged time. A media product needs firstly to be present, but also high quality and attractive across channels, be it the music store, the app store, or the movie storie. A single brand, best memorable as a character, because people relate to people. Music as the tentpole, because music creates the deepest emotions of all media. I propose a transmedia album that spans the audio, the visual, and the textual, and the participatory, where viewers can play a thematic song themselves, complete with a social network, that facilitates fans to connect with each other.

The Product

Transmedia music:

  1. App. An App Album with character backstory.
  2. Video. A music video.
  3. Dance. Particular dance moves that fans can copy.
  4. Wristbands. Physical objects that communicate being part of the group and give superpowers.
  5. Live. A live event in a secret location.
  6. Game. A participatory alternate reality game?
  7. Network. A social network to connect fans together.
  8. Websites (Should these be seen as separate platforms?)

Character

Character is what people best recognized and remember, thus developing the central character is the starting point from which transmedia extensions originate from. IN PROCESS.

Aesthetics

The character extends into a storyworld with a recognizable and memorable set of aesthetics. Like in Star Wars, where the dusty and scratched metal of every set piece of the movie made the world look ancient and gave it a feel and scope, the transmedia musician needs an aesthetics that crosses platforms.

Storytelling

A number of MIT Media Labs theses touch of multi-platform storytelling, as do a number of transmedia blogs, most notably transchordian, however an encompassing academic analysis of transmedia music has not been undertaken. IN PROCESS.

Existing Transmedia Artists

An incomplete list of existing artists whose work is notably multiplatform, remediatory, or makes use of transmedia storytelling - with relevant analysis, description, or in one case a concert experience, where available.

This is something I will spend a lot of time thinking about in coming months and years, so I welcome any ideas, criticism, collaboration offers, contacts, etc. Send me an email (or tweet me for the quickest response). You can also reach me by phone: +372 53073123, although I might not always be available to talk; just call again.

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