Beatie Wolfe is inspired by raw sound. She found the perfect project when she collaborated with Nokia Bell Labs and Design I/O to create Raw Space, a 24 hour, seven day experience where a vinyl copy of the British singer-songwriter’s album will be playing live from an anechoic chamber. Viewers will be able to view this special project until Friday, May 12th at 11 AM EST.
Beatie compared records to the “musical books” she discovered in her parents record collection when she was eight. She thought it was the best thing she had ever seen.
“They were almost like these musical books that you could open up and you could read the lines and notes and lyrics lik e a story. You had this wonderful artwork that you almost had a backdrop for the record,” Beatie said.
The singer compared listening to those records as a ceremony to this experience, which fueled her to find a “tangible piece of art” that would replicate the sound of vinyl for the digital age. Her partnership with Bell Labs and Design I/O seemed like the perfect match to make this musical dream a reality. The studio brought together a live performance world with visuals that accompany song. Beatie performed “Little Moth,” a song inspired by the songwriter, Elliot Smith which used a forest backdrop with little moths in the background. The album experience also features “As You,” a song about love and “The Man Who.”
Inside the Anechoic Chamber
The chamber where Beatie performed captures raw sound and echoes based on how close she is to the speakers. All of the songs that were recorded in this chamber feature Beatie’s voice and her acoustic guitar; both musical instruments that won’t interfere with the reverberation of this room. Beatie is most comfortable with this space because it represents her voice in a raw, unfiltered manner.
Why Raw Space?
“When I discovered that you could put stories to music and you could harness the amazing lyrical power of poetry with the emotive power of melody, that for me was this kind of magical blend,” said Beatie.
Raw Space isn’t Beatie’s first project with Design I/O. Her first album featured an interactive vinyl experience for iTunes users. After building this visual and musical album that was fit for the digital generation she aspired to create another visual and musical masterpiece.
“With Raw Space it was the combination of those early ideas,” she said. The album is made completely with guitar and voice and after hearing each song Design I/O and Nokia Bell Labs came up with visuals to accompany these songs to create a visual landscape.
“It was really like bringing out the cinema and the visual world of the album,” the singer said. With her albums Beatie is conceptualizing the idea that an album can tell a story and come to life.
Raw Space is in a non-reverberant space that allows the listener to feel as if the sound is coming to them unfiltered without interruptions from outside noise. It is surely the recreation of the visual story of an album in a digital space.