As 2015 comes to a close, we’d like to reflect on some our favourite moments of the year, from the release of Kendrick Lamar’s groundbreaking ‘To Pimp A Butterfly’, to the rebirth of N.W.A, to Drake releasing the most meme worthy video ever. Not only was 2015 a great year for music, it was an incredibly exciting year for the team here at Listen!
This year, we collaborated with a range of innovative artists to create exciting experiences for fans and bands alike by harnessing the power of Microsoft technology. We kicked off Microsoft’s music program with Delqa, a sonic installation that went inside the music of celebrated DJ and producer, Matthew Dear. This powerful installation at The New Museum let users bring Matthew’s original track to life by interacting with the Kinect powered environment.
We continued our work with Microsoft by partnering with New York’s CMJ Music Marathon, a weeklong music festival that attracts music’s most promising talent. We used this opportunity to bring a brand new live performance experience to the festival, working with Neon Indian to update his live show with Kinect technology. Neon Indian’s show came to life through immersive visuals created in real time, taking full advantage of the latest interactive technology.
Finally, we wrapped up the year by helping electronic pop duo Phantogram share their story of how their “favorite show ever” came together in a cemetery using Kinect technology. The band worked with creative technologist Blair Neal to create a projection using the band’s bodies as a canvas in real time. The result was an unforgettable live experience at the iconic Hollywood Forever Cemetery – a story we were proud to help bring to those who couldn’t be there.
This year we also created sonic identity systems for a variety of brands and products around the globe, including Microsoft, HoloLens, Xbox and Skype. We are incredibly proud of our work re-designing Skype’s iconic sound, for the first time in 10 years. This was a huge highlight for us and you can find out more in this in-depth piece from The Verge, ‘Sound Decisions: Inside the world of audio branding with Skype’s new pings, bounces, and pops’. In addition to our identity work, we provided soundtracks for the likes of ED by Ellen, Stella Artois Sensorium and the AICP Awards Show.
We also had the pleasure of working with the team at MOSCOT to create Listen-produced music events, in their Orchard Street Gallery & Music Space. We were lucky to be joined by some amazing artists, including Penguin Prison, Delicate Steve and Dee Dee (Dum Dum Girls). We ended the year with the MOSCOT 100 year anniversary concert, ‘Legendary Rock of the Lower East Side feat. GE Smith & Friends’, at City Winery.
This year, along with Pharrell Williams and the team at Control Room, we brought together the smartest young minds in climate activism, to create ‘The World is Watching’ panel for 24 Hours of Reality. Pharrell and the panelists discussed how youth today can take climate action, in the lead up to the historic climate agreement that was signed by 196 countries at the COP21 United Nations climate summit in Paris.
Lastly, we continued our work on Ones To Watch, a partnership between Skype and Live Nation that supported emerging bands and helped music fans get closer to their favorite artists. Along the way we caught up with The Devil Makes Three, KONGOS, Kalin & Myles, Kodaline, and more and watched as they made stronger bonds with their fans via Skype. Check out some of those special moments here.
Here’s to an even bigger 2016!