Tag Archives: SXSW Music 2016

Deloitte Digital and Robert DeLong at SXSW 2016

Deloitte Digital

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.

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The official haircut of SXSW

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.

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Oddly addictive activity

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.

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The lights draw us in like moths

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.


Collaborative sounds

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.


Robert DeLong

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.


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Dramatic Rain at SXSW 2016

“The rain gods have spoken. Your band sucks.” -an unknown prophet


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StubHub is psychic


It’s Friday during the music section of SXSW.  People are here to party. Dirty 6th is in full rush hour with people at a standstill, waiting on the crowd to move forward. But it won’t. They are all stuck there forever. And ever.

Then the rumors start. The rain. The rain is coming. It’s the end of the world as we know it. We are not fine.

In Texas, there isn’t much rain. When there is rain, it does have a tendency turn into immediate thunderstorms with added flash flooding. But that’s not the worst. The drivers are the worst. People here are unfamiliar with how to drive in rain. They have yet to fully comprehend that speeding up won’t make your car into a boat.

Therefore, any announcement of rain can lead to chaos. In the case, there are added predictions of hail. People are told to see shelter in the Convention Center. Stub Hub is handing out Ponchos in the streets by their concert venue on Rainy. Branded ponchos are some next level advertising. Positive brand associations. Somebody on the marketing team really planned for all circumstances, or is a psychic.

Then begins a mass migration. Every car is headed out of town all at once.  Drunkenly they stumble to vehicles and onto the roads to weave their way home. Soon the sound of sirens follow. Because a bunch of possibly inebriated people leaving town all at once during a thunderstorm was never a bright idea.

Between the sirens and the thunder the air has a certain vibrancy. The people that remain are just a little brighter. They are the adventurers. They are the once who came to dance in the mud. Or they are the ones too drunk to remember where their car was. Regardless they stand in the streets together.

The storm rolls on. People seek refuge. They cover their heads with pieces of paper. They check their phones. They go to whatever venue is closest and are forced to appreciate whatever music is there.

The McDonalds house is closed. No food there. The music must cease, at least until the weather forecast turns better. Whoever was supposed to play there must feel a particular shame. Because the rain gods have spoken. And their band sucks.

Eventually the storm passes. There was never any hail. Texans sometimes overreact to rain.



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