For his fourth novel, Jon McGregor wanted to tour with a soundtrack - making his bookstore and event appearances more than just the author at a lectern, reading from his book.
Jon had seen a live performance of Songs for Spoken Words, where Richard controlled text on the audience's phones from his position on stage. We used that concept and the underlying technology to reverse the roles so that Jon would read aloud, and the audience's phones would provide the music.
Tom Armitage developed the experimental application, while Richard designed the mobile interface and composed/produced the music.
Phones Out, Volume Up
Jon asks the audience to get their phones out and visit the website we created for the project. They click to give the website permission to load audio, whereupon the app sends a 'stem' of the soundtrack.
Jon has a remote control interface on his mobile. When reading a particular segment, he clicks the corresponding button to activate that section of audio within the audience.
Different Every Time
Each audience member is given a 'stem' by chance e.g. they get the piano sounds, while their neighbour gets a vibraphone and the person behind gets a drum. The effect is a communal, cumulative experience that reflects the symphonic form of the novel.