Abba and Tupac in the metaverse: How digital avatars could be the bankable future of band touring

It was a technical achievement that created history, impressed the audience and brought a dead rapper to life again. In April 2012 at the Coachella Festival in California, Tupac Shakur went up on stage with Snoop Dogg and Dr Dre. He had been dead for 16 years, killed in a car shooting in Las Vegas.

But this was Tupac the hologramugly in the mouth and true to life, performing before a “shocked and then surprised“the crowd.

Since humans first enjoyed the sound of music, advances in technology have succeeded in making musical expression immortal. Throughout history, innovators have strived to create original, accessible and timeless performances.

As engineering knowledge developed, advanced musical instrument design. Many classical composers were introduced groundbreaking instrumentation into their score, adding depth and color that broadens the listening experience.

Exactly notation system matured, music offers an essence of immortality through printed manuscripts. 1853 Edouard-Leon Scott de Martinvilles phonograph groundbreaking one audio recording technology.

1912 composed WC Handy Memphis Blues, a song that took the United States by storm and influenced the development of popular music. Published on paper, it was very popular in the dance halls and soon all bands in America were asked to play it. This public demand was recognized by a newly started recording industrywhich soon flourished.

Technology = creativity

A breakthrough in the quality of music recording came with the advent of hi-fi and stereo introduced by Yamaha. Those who embraced the technology artistically were able to transport a realistic performance experience into the homes of the masses. One of the biggest bands of the 1970s and 1980s, Swedish supergroup Abbaadopted this technology pioneering recording techniques, which are still used as standard today.

Behind this technology lay the creative genius that produced millions of record sales and performances that dominated the 1970s and beyond. After the group’s obvious demise, Benny and Björn expanded into the theater genre and composed musicals. Together with their interest in emerging technology, this sowed seeds to recapture and reinvent the Abba machine 40 years later.

In May 2022, the latest technological advances in musical immortality will come when Abba returns to the live scene after 40 years of absence. But this time, they return as humanoids – the “twins” of the digital global phenomenon of the digital hologram.

George Lucas Industrial light and magic has created holographic lookalikes who interacts with a live band in a specially designed theater in East London. Benny, Björn, Frida and Agnetha have provided the pre-recorded song and the motion-captured movement which will then be reproduced by the digital avatars.

The doubles are more youthful in appearance – around the age of 30, when they were at the peak of their fame – which raises an interesting mystery regarding Abbas’ human mortality against their new immortality in the metaverse.

Abba’s music is undoubtedly timeless; the simple songs with incredibly complicated structures appeal to millions. The “Abbats” are a new invention for a new audience, but will they continue beyond the lives of their originals, with new creators pulling the strings?

In addition to Abba and Tupac, there are other occasions where “digital twinning” has been identified as an important strategy for making money. The digital band Gorillaz ‘ 2006 Grammy appearance blends flawlessly with Madonna’s. And Richard Burton’s hologram performed on a global tour in war of the Worlds in another performance in 2006.

Music in the meta verse

Customizing 3D avatars has become a unique way for artists to create virtual brands on multiple digital platforms. They can connect virtually with fans and increase loyalty and commitment, while fans can interact, express themselves and experience new things.

This is now possible using AI software to make holograms, as researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) showed. in an experiment who created the holograms pretty instantly.

Ziva Dynamics a pioneer in real-time simulation and character creation, uses synthetic AI-powered avatars to create autonomous and complex motion simulations based on real muscle, fat, soft tissue and skin contact.

In April 2021, in a project called Lost bands from The 27 ClubGoogles Magenta AI was even used to compose songs in the style of musicians who notoriously died at the age of 27, including Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison and Amy Winehouse.

These technologies have the potential to create realistic synthetic and AI holographic representations of deceased artists, enabling them to continue creating, influencing and performing for future audiences.

Epic gamescreator of the phenomenally successful Fortnite, predicts it digital twins will combine with metaversean emerging network of immersive digital worlds.

To disrupt the music industry

While live tours are time-consuming and costly for new artists, a low-cost “tour” can be a new way for music lovers to see live performances. Virtual performances of Justin Bieber, DeadMau5 and Weekend has already become popular recently.

In this emerging branch of the music industry, record companies and marketing companies can be replaced with decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). DAOs are online organizations that act as cooperatives and make all decisions together.

DAOs are already disrupts the music industry—Together with NFTs (non-fungal tokens), which are a way to transfer property between people online. In October 2021, PleasrDAO – a collective of decentralized finance (DeFi) leaders, early NFT collectors and digital artists – paid $ 4 million (£ 3 million) for It was once in Shaolin an album by New York hip-hop legend Wu-Tang Clan.

While the release of the album precedes the emergence of NFTs, PleasrDAO now owns the rights and has imposed strict restrictions on duplication, distribution or public display. A music-focused DAO like Pleasr can buy bulk tickets to concerts, fund and organize events and manage fan-owned record companies and marketing agencies to secure investable goods such as LPs, artwork and instruments in the first edition. This has the potential to benefit both fans, new music genres and artists.

This creates a new, decentralized path to the market for artists free from corporate interests or the interests of individual producers, which develops a fairer landscape for the future. With digital avatars likely to be at the heart of this new avant-garde, it will be fascinating to see how it develops in the coming months and years – and whether it will be enough for the music audience.


Abba: Who really likes them?


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