Interactive music with Deloitte Digital and performance by Robert DeLong
Deloitte ” provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax, and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands,” according to their website.
This year they are at SXSW doing slightly-weird, attention-seeking ,things like all the other cool companies here. In 2014, they were set up just outside the trade show, with 3D printers printing scanned busts of their employees. They also printed tiny little turrets of absurd detail. It was successful at getting attention.
This year, Deloitte has kicked it up a notch. They rented out the Palm Door, a popular venue on dirty 6th, and made it a technology party. They have brought the ARC, an interactive musical experience. Guests walk into the bar, cross the room, and enter a wondrous alcove of musical interaction.
The ARC is a musical composition in perpetual flux at the whim and will of its admiring audience. It’s a mysterious form, a round table embedded with tactile, kinetic, shapes. It is the main light in this room. There is a sphere that rotates and other objects that light up when they are touched. Interaction with the objects changes the rhythm and sounds that are playing in the room.
The audience becomes the composer as they start to figure out which button does what. It becomes collaborative as people ask each other what they have learned so far. They discuss patterns and strategy. They gaze intently at each other, faces lit with the glow of a musical table.
The ARC uses an algorithm to make a song that will evolve and change on its own. The audience also influences this algorithm, as they are joyfully discovering at this particular moment. They look up and smile as they discover the meanings of their movements. They are at the center of this music and they are all too aware of it.
Deloitte is also bringing musical performance to their venue. One particularly-apt choice was the inclusion of electronic artist, Robert DeLong. His electronic, EDM-influenced, tunes explore themes of humanity and consumerism in a technological age. These upbeat, danceable, tunes accompanied by lights and visual experiences, are well-suited for this environment.
DeLong’s work uses innovative, interactive, technology, in a concept that could relate to the ARC. He’s known to use Wii remotes that adjust elements of his sound as he performs on stage. It’s electronic tools meeting organic performance.
Deloitte’s event succeeded in highlighting the interaction between humans and the technology they use. People played with cool toys and they made sounds. It was interactive. It was SXSW Interactive.