Issue 68

Monthly newspaper and online publication targeting 18 to 35 year olds. The ultimate guide to the hottest parties, going out and having fun. Music, fashion, film, travel, festivals, technology, comedy, and parties! London, Barcelona, Miami and Ibiza.

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Imogen Heap has always had a penchant for all things techno. When the near-perfect Speak For Yourself came out in 2005 she highlighted her mastery of technologically touched-up production married with gor- geously plucked instrumentation – the na- ked vocoder of The OC-propelled 'Hide and Seek' was the album's commercial peak, but there was so much more to her sophomore effort that went under the mainstream radar – it was an aural circus for headphone en- thusiasts whilst still maintaining a neat, pop coherence. Nine years on, several albums and accolades later, she plans to launch a pair of musical gloves that she and her team have been diligently working on since 2009, sched- uled for a late 2015 release. The idea of the MiMu Gloves, seemingly inspired by sound artist Laetitia Sonami, is essentially to allow Imogen to visually represent her music pro- duction through gesticulation – the move- ments she makes, as well as the location on the stage she makes them, control the tone, pitch and tempo of the music, amongst a va- riety of other musical wonders. It's a mind-blowing concept and the results are nothing short of spectacular, but is this technological innovation another example tech being taken too far or could it be the blueprint for the future of live music and performing arts? There is no doubt that technological evolution has opened an infi- nite number of doors creatively – with music program Logic alone you can create innu- merable synthetic tones as well as very real instrument replications – but it is also the case that in the age we live in, the hurtling speed at which machines are advancing, the human aspect of mastering a particular in- strument or the intimate essence of nurtur- ing songwriting skills have been diminished, or at least overlooked considerably given the ease at which one cannow replicate mu- sic through tech. In Imogen Heap's case it is slightly different of course – she was classically trained from a young age on piano, cello and clarinet so she has grasped both worlds – but in terms of younger generations is it too much tech too soon? This applies both in and out of mu- sic as well; it resonates in many areas, with recent examples including Charlie Brooker's series Black Mirror and Spike Jonze's film Her which have given explicit insights as to what our society could potentially turn into with technology becoming too readily ac- cessible – they both point towards a huge moral decline – and the potential dangers of computer progression exist in music as well, albeit less transparently. Imogen Heap's gloves make for an incredible spectacle, but what they represent is more than just visual and sonic amazement: they represent a further evolution that increasingly brings humans and machines closer together, and that concept can sometimes undermine the core values of what it means to make genu- ine, uncontrived art. Whilst technology does have benefits in many fields, it does make you wonder how close (wo)man and machine can get before reality is augmented a step too far. It is more apparent than ever that humans and ma- chines, which were once almost polar oppo- sites, are progressively becoming indistin- guishable from one another and at the rate things are going, maybe it's not a question at all – maybe it's both: technology too far and the future of performing arts. 6 Issue 68 / 2014 GUESTLIST With such a heavy emphasis nowadays - especially in popular music - on music production over organic musicianship, it could be that entry-level musicians are bypassing some of the basic, human elements of their craft and are instead indulging in technology before they are musically ready. IMOGEN HEAP'S MUSICAL GLOVES – TECHNOLOGY TOO FAR OR THE FUTURE OF PERFORMING ARTS?

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