Merging sound, vision and environment, ‘Sadly by your Side’ is an album, a book and a smartphone app. But it’s also an idea. And that rather ingenious idea is that an album is open to your personal interpretation. Not only that, it’s also sensitive to the environment you happen to be in. If you open the app and point your phone at Sadly by Your Side’s physical pages, you’ll hear the tracks in their original form. But if you point it anywhere else, you’ll hear unique remixes of those same songs, with the tracks remixed in-real time as you change your environment.
Developed by Italian interaction designer Angelo Semeraro, this clever multimedia project, poses some interesting questions, such as: ‘what is an album’ and: ‘at what time does it drift so far away from the artist’s original intent that it becomes something different altogether’?
These questions have been posed before, albeit in a slightly different literary form (Roland Barthes’ famed 1968 essay. ‘The Death of The Author’ arguing that writing and creator are unrelated comes to mind), but, as it’s very often the case with new technologies, the reimagining of the old in a present-day context lets us see these tried and tested creative conundrums in a shimmering new light.
We really like the thought of being able to put our personal spin on what sounds like an already solid album by Davide Cairo through an everyday piece of technology like the smartphone.
You could, of course, argue that you are still working within the sonic and visual universe that the designers created and that this creates significant limitations (Semeraro had Cairo, separate his music into building blocks: rhythm, melody, and harmony), but most creative people like to try their hand at exceeding limitations, so maybe that’s a good thing?
Check out more on the project here.
Via WIRED Magazine