A project, a concept, an album.

Started in 2011, an album by Imogen Heap that she estimates will take a couple of years to finish.

So what you may think, lots of musicians take years to produce an album, what is so special about about that?

What is so special is the way she is going about it, the community involvement, a conversation that is being fed back into the music.

Imogen Heap is using crowd sourcing, community support, not to provide the funding, but to provide the sources, sound samples which she calls seeds, around which she composes the music.

The first song, initially titled heapsong1 and later retitled Lifeline, premièred worldwide on 28 March 2011 via Ustream.

Last night, Earth Day Sunday 22 April 2012, Imogen Heap streamed a live event from the garden of the Round House, it was streamed live on her website. At this event she premièred Love the Earth and heapsong6, now called Me The Machine, in which she controls the sounds on stage using gloves with built in sensors.

I had not heard of Imogen Heap until Steve Lawson mentioned her in a talk as an excellent example of the use of social media.

I checked her out, and that is how I stumbled across her live stream last night, more is the pity I did not catch it from the beginning, as what I saw I thoroughly enjoyed

Imogen Heap not only makes excellent use of social media, she engages in a conversation, a conversation that is fed back into her music.

Watching the live stream last night, then in the early hours of the morning a piano improvisation for Earth Hour 2012, she was very much in conversation.

She uses crowd sourcing and community support in novel ways.

The film clips for Love the Earth were crowd sourced. The sound track can be bought. The money raised will then be used to finance a DVD. But you can watch the film on-line for free.

Each of the tracks for Heapsongs has its own mini-website, a sub-domain of her website. You can see the song as it evolves. You can watch the video, you can listen on soundcloud.

Each of the tracks can be purchased in various digital bundles. Download the track or download the track plus, where the plus can include various options including the video. Each track is available as high quality lossless FLAC as well as lossy mp3 320. [see mp3 v FLAC]

To play FLAC, download and install VLC Media Player.

I noticed Imogen Heap has a page on bandcamp but nothing is there. I assume it is reserved for Heapsongs when complete. Let’s hope so.

In the meantime Imogen, please record improvisation Earth Song 2012 as an album and upload to bandcamp.

Imogen Heap provides lesson for others to learn from.

The Sixteen are dabbling with crowd sourcing and community support. Crowd sourcing is being used to fund their next recording.

I would strongly recommend The Sixteen establish a mini-site for the next recording. A video of Harry Christophers (founder and director) talking about the music, why he has chosen it, its cultural context. A video of it being recorded.

Shadowboxer and Cass Lowe were in the recording studio at the weekend. How do I know? A message on twitter.

The only other person I know (apart from Steve Lawson) who engages in this level of conversation is Brazilian writer Paulo Coelho. When he reached 3 million followers on twitter earlier this year (he has now almost reached 4 million), he invited six readers to join him for dinner in Barcelona. A dinner that took place at the weekend. Early this year he produced a series of podcasts where he talks about writing, using his latest book Aleph as an example.

If you do something interesting, have something interesting to say, people will talk about it, tell their friends, write about it (as I am doing).

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2 Responses to “Heapsongs”

  1. keithpp Says:

    Now renamed Sparks, to be released as a limited edition deluxe box set early 2014.


  2. keithpp Says:

    Performance of Heapsongs aka Sparks at Vivid Live at Sydney Opera House.


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