Talking Stone Film

Film Reviews & Headlines

Sarah wakes up with a start. She’s groggy and has a nasty headache. “Ugh I thought these were supposed to be
hangover-free… Probably shouldn’t have drank that last
one, though.” Sarah grabs her tablet and checks her replies. She was up late hanging out a bunch of patrons
last night in VR. She doesn’t always feel like being social,
but she’s so grateful for her fans — she wouldn’t be able to make a living as Blink
without them. Every time she releases a new song or plays
a show online, a few thousand bucks from her Patreon supporters gets deposited into her
bank account. With the money, she was able to quit her part-time
job last year and focus on her band full-time. Rent in Brooklyn isn’t cheap, and neither
are her internet bills. Streaming 3D volumetric video out to thousands
of fans takes a LOT of bandwidth. Her basic income is great, but it just doesn’t
stretch that far. These hangouts are a way of paying back her
biggest fans. But they also gives her a chance to workshop
new songs without leaving her place. She feels good about this new one. It came together quickly and without a lot
of effort. That’s always a good sign. OK time to get to work. She stumbles out of bed and throws on a t-shirt. She puts on her haptic gloves and Warby Parker
mixed reality glasses. These are a huge step up from the clunky VR
rigs of the late teens. She switches on the VR blackout mode and her
drab apartment disappears. This is her favorite part. She opens her eyes and looks around her VR
studio, which has a tropical vibe this month. Her Ableton session is already loaded up with
the track she was working on last night. She doesn’t even bother with a monitor in
real life — this 30 foot screen suits her just fine. She recently upgraded all her real-world gear
so it tracks in VR. She loves the feel of real keys or guitar
strings under her fingers, but wanted the freedom of mixed reality upgrades. So now she gets the best of both worlds. She plays back the track. It sounds good, but she needs to rehearse
it with her drummer. She pings Jason and he pops into the studio
already seated at his kit. Jason lives all the way out in Portland. Fortunately, both of them signed up for Google
fiber as soon as it became available a few years ago, allowing them to play together
in VR without any lag. Jason isn’t much of a talker, so they get
right to business. As the tiny volumetric cameras in each corner
of her room replicate her every movement in VR, she counts off the intro on her MPC and
they run the song. She walks over to her endless modular synth. Her one real-world synth expands out to an
array of virtual ones. Her haptic gloves deliver convincing tingles
to her fingers as she tweaks and rewires the synth until she gets the exact sound she hears
in her head. She’s obsessed with this thing. She also hacked her Push controller so little
bursts of flame erupt when she triggers certain samples. Her fans love it, and its great for VR gigs. One of her favorite things about VR is that
she can create instruments that couldn’t exist in real-life. She turns around to face her latest project,
a weird looking cube that plays like the world’s greatest theremin. Actual theremins are notoriously hard to play
since you don’t get any touch feedback from the instrument and you can’t see what you’re
doing. With the cube, she can see and feel the notes
she’s playing. And the synth lines she can make with this
thing sound like nothing else out there. So much fun. They practice the song more than a dozen times
until it sounds just right. Sarah has a really specific vision when it
comes to Blink’s music and visuals. She’s hands on with every aspect her live
shows, creating the music, the costumes, her avatar, and pyro and special effects. She sees that it’s almost time for doors. She cues up all the assets and loads the full
VR concert set she put together. NICE. Blink makes all of her music and visuals available
to share and remix via Creative Commons. The avatar she released has been remixed by
her fans hundreds of times. She loves showing off their work, and she
picks one of her favorites for tonight’s gig. Jason opts for something a bit more simple… “God damn it Jason. The stupid cowboy hat again?” “Yep.” “I’m over here in a flaming jumpsuit and you’re
going to wear a fucking cowboy hat!?” “That’s right.” “Ugh. Whatever. Let’s do this.” She opens the doors and minimizes her VR screen. Some of Blink’s most loyal fans have already
turned up. Oh hey Electric Dave’s here. That guy is awesome. Back in the 20s, VR concerts — along with
sports, gaming, education, telecommuting apps and, let’s face it, porn — helped pushed
VR into the mainstream. Since music is effectively free via streaming
and, like most artists, she doesn’t need or want to sign with a major label, most of
Blink’s money comes from shows — both real-world and VR gigs. Sarah still prefers the real thing, but VR
concerts have their advantages. Tickets are cheaper. They’re carbon-neutral. They give people in small towns access to
shows they can’t see in person. There is no more random people shoving past
you. No more long beer lines. And — best of all for short people — nobody
to block your view. Because, you know, you could fly. Or be 10 feet tall. Or you could be a fish. You could do that too. Sarah gives Jason the signal, and she hits
the lights. They launch into their first song — she
loves playing this one…

19 thoughts on “The Future of Music

  1. Leave your predictions on the future of music in the comments! VR concerts? Jamming over IP? The death of the major labels? VR instruments? Let me know what you think will happen… Wild speculation is encouraged 😉

  2. Love it, nice work! I too am excited for the performance and funding aspects of your vision, but I am really looking forward to the social and legal re-thinking of remixes and covers. If a song becomes popular, I would rather listen to similar-minded artists adapt it to new styles, or add to the lyrics, etc. than have to hear the same song over and over again. I mean, people can and do seek out other versions of songs they love (Postmodern Jukebox fan here), but covers are rarely judged by the same standards as originals, and tend to get ignored by radio services.

  3. Awesome way of storytelling! 😉 Great inspiration! Love the way you just imported a drumkit ^^ Could be nice if they implemented some form of colormaps to 3D objects.

  4. Bravo, this is an amazing film and accurate to in it's depiction on the online musician. Much of this is happening today in the online virtual worlds of Second Life, InWorldz, etc and on performance websites such as Street Jelly, Numubu, The Stage, etc… The application for virtual instruments and the studio is already available in a VR application called Soundstage. This is the future of online performance and much of it is already here today.

  5. Love the video. I love philosophizing about the future and how current events will influence it. This channel is going places!

  6. Haptic gloves are a good start but we already have haptic vests (like SubPac), by 2033 all of our clothing will be smart clothing with advanced haptics so engineering the haptics that will be broadcast to your audience may be a new and very important element of music, as it already has become for certain aspects of modern EDM. I can't wait for all of this stuff to be cheap and everywhere. Could smart clothing mean no laundry? Think about it. And someone get me a time machine.

  7. Future's looking bright from a tech side, but we're also curious about the physical element of music – getting people not just to the events but interacting with each other. Do you think that this is heading out, or is there room for a renaissance of community amongst concert-goers & music fans?

  8. Very nice work and imagination. Such great fuel for an aspiring performer of the future. I'll be old by then but hey, my avatar never ages!

  9. It will be much easier to have VR concerts because you don't have to deal with all the stage setup! One can simulate any environment that they can imagine

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