One of the best ways to engage fans is to share special experiences with them; in particular… inviting them to share a part of the artistic process.
Driven by this philosophy, Sigur Ros last year asked fans and filmmakers alike to create videos expressing their interpretations of the music from their latest album, Valtari. Called “The Valtari Mystery Film Experiment,” the band commissioned 14 professional filmmakers, giving them a small budget and complete freedom to create whatever they liked in response to the music and their feelings that music conjured. They also invited fans to submit amateur videos.
"We never meant our music to come with a pre-programmed emotional response," the band wrote on its website at the time. "We don’t want to tell anyone how to feel and what to take from it. With the films, we have literally no idea what the directors are going to come back with. None of them know what the others are doing, so hopefully in could be interesting."
Altogether, more than 800 videos were submitted, from which two were selected to join the 14 professionally made films, and in December the band scheduled more than 100 screenings of all 16 videos nationwide.
Below are some the videos submitted.
Each filmmaker displayed how the band’s music not only spoke for the band, but for every fan that identified and appreciated their art. And that’s what makes music powerful. Ranging from playful, to eerie, to just plain strange, the pieces portrayed the vast array of emotions that the band’s music evoked.
Now fans can buy and download the full film series directly from their website using a Topspin-powered store.
Thus, the band closed the loop in the artistic process—from album creation, to album release, to the invitation for film interpretation of the album, to the creation of fan-submitted videos, and ultimately the release of a new product in the form of the video compilation.
-Nic Chang (@nic_hsc)