Imogene Heap continues to convince me she must be an incredibly interesting person in person … as well as a talented musician. And she just released another new song … from China.
Think of this:
Featured on TED (magical gloves <that capture sound through motion>).
Finds musical inspiration in almost absurd ways (newspaper printers).
Innovative thinker (YouGov).
Certainly not mainstream (I envision most people have no clue who she is). But certainly way ahead of what I would consider a global collaborative thinker (not just a musician).
First. The song.
Heap is working on her fourth cd. But she is going about it in a really interesting way … it is almost like sh is releasing each song as a “cd” as she rolls out the entre cd one-by-one. While the cd will be a collection of songs written and released individually two months apart each “Heapsong” is a story in itself. As I just said … each song is almost its own cd. People should be paying attention to is concept … REALLY paying attention. Because this may be the way of the future. Full length cds simply being a means to an end (a compilation of individual songs).
The newest song, the 5th, she made in China and is called Xizi She Knows: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgvAx2Bdt-o&ob=av2e
Ok. About the song (and another reason why I think she is one of the most innovative musicians out there today):
We went into a primary school class, where the children were doing their eye exercises, and the teacher giving them their instructions gave us our tempo. The sound of the newspaper printing presses – that became the beat. And we caught this woman who heads up this huge hill to a temple every day at sunrise and screams at the top of her lungs, so the sound of that is now in the middle section of the song.- Imogene Heap
She worked with YouGov to conduct a unique piece of research.
Imogen wanted to find out more about her fans by working with YouGov to write a tailored survey. Through it, she hoped to discover how her fans first came into contact with her work, when, how and why they enjoy her music, and what it is about Heap fans as individuals that mean they connect with her sound. It is a fascinating way to stay in touch with not only fan base but a larger base of what I would consider ‘global influencers’ or, at minimum, people who care about issues globally.
By the way.
Every one of my readers (because I assume they read because they like to explore new ideas and be involved in a worldview) should register with YouGov.
While it is certainly UK based it explores global issues as well as UK issues and is really well done. A very easy way to keep in touch with a variety of global issues (and some are serious and some are not).
Here is the registration site: https://labs.yougov.co.uk/account/register/
I love the fact she has made new technologies and social media integral to who she is and what she does … WITHOUT losing her individualism.
Heck. in 2010 she accepted her Grammy for the best engineered non-classical album (there are so many frickin’ grammy categories its nuts) wearing an interactive Twitter dress <yeah … interactive> specially-made to enable her to ‘bring’ her fans on stage with her.
She has been featured on TED as assisting in the development of “magical gloves” which capture sounds in motion.
I love the fact she is recognizing the importance and functionality of social media as a vehicle for, and measure, of not only engagement but also the possibilities created through collaboration by constantly involving people with various projects.
I have written about her before an this 4th cd but it us using an entirely new innovative approach to writing & recording by releasing one song every three months … because each song is basically being created through collaboration in a two-week song-composing flurry.
‘Lifeline’ and ‘Propeller Seeds’ were the first and second tracks created this way.
For ‘Propeller Seeds’, Imogen invited fans to share their moments of ‘clarity’ with her – namely, the times in their lives when “everything seemed to click” – to inspire her interpretation of this moment in her music.
Fascinating young lady.
And, from a bigger picture perspective, I believe her efforts and working style actually does more to encourage arts & music in people’s lives than any “music & arts is good” advertising initiative. She is involving people … and young people to see how music can be part of their lives.
Here is the Guardian article: http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2012/feb/23/30-minutes-with-imogen-heap#1
And if you ever wanted to be part of a song writing process … well … here is your chance. Her cd ain’t done yet.