Artist of the Week: A Look Back At The Sigur Ros Film Experiment

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)

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Artist of the Day: Fans Overcome Barbed Wire, Walls, And Rough Terrain To See Sigur Rós

A happy New Years to you! We hope that the start of your 2013 has been well. For your enjoyment this new year, here is a fun story about a Sigur Rós fan.


Sigur Rós fan club ticket sales went live at 10 am on November 14th and in a few hours all of the tickets had sold out. The band continues to be hugely popular around the world and tickets are highly sought after. Sigur Rós used Topspin ticketing and fan memberships to give fans the special opportunity to purchase tickets ahead of public sales. Fans took full advantage of this and tickets sold out almost immediately.

When bands offer an incredibly compelling product, fans will go immense lengths to obtain it. For some, seeing the band live is even worth taking some legal and personal risks. 

Disclaimer: we do not condone trespassing and sneaking into shows. The following story is simply meant to illustrate the lengths that fans will go to for the sake of their favorite band. 

On the night August 12th Vanessa and her friend were walking around the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. In usual Sigur Rós fashion the show was sold out, so the two were there to watch a meteor shower and listen to the show from the outside. The concert had started and they were strolling along when Vanessa met a friend with some people she didn’t know. While she was (at the time) content with hearing the show from the outside these people were intent on getting in and were circling the venue, searching for a way to penetrate security. Deciding to tag along, the company veered into a small alley.


A tall red brick wall covered with vines was the only thing between them and Sigur Rós. That, and a spiraling coil of barbed wire resting atop the wall, whose vicious hooks dared to punish any delinquent who would chose to cross it. Clearing the wall would mean a once in a lifetime experience, but the consequences could be…painful.

“I kept second guessing myself,” Vanessa said. “Seeing Sigur Rós live was my number one thing to do. Then this heavyset guy was walking by and talking to himself and my friend was freaking out. I decided I was not going to let this weirdo stop me from going to the show.”

She scaled the wall with the help of a stranger and adrenaline. One of her arms got snagged in the hooks. Adrenaline was pumping through her veins while blood was pumping out of them, but she didn’t feel a thing. Freeing herself from the metal, she threw her left leg over the wall but subsequently entangled her right.

“I remember trying to get to the other side as fast as possible. I think I fell. I don’t know.”


On the other side of the wall they ran, through the trees and tombstones. Flashlights and guards were everywhere, invoking a chase scene similar to the one in the “Sound of Music.” Coincidently, it was the sound of music that had drawn them into the predicament. 

Vanessa described the concert as a hazy, almost ethereal experience, probably due to the effect of the music and substantial blood loss. But the music calmed her. It mesmerized her. It allowed her forget the pain she should have felt. Music of Sigur Rós and a dream finally coming true drowned out every other emotion. This experience was 100% worth the trouble she had endured to get there. Her dedication had paid off.

These days artists are depending on their super fans more and more as traditional consumer music sales decrease. The relationships between dedicated fans and the artists they support now play an increasingly important role in artists’ careers. Artists who can capitalize on the dedication and influence of fans like Vanessa will be incredibly successful. 

Click here for Sigur Rós Tickets


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Free Music Friday is back in action

If you tuned into our weekly webcast with Bob, you will recognize some of these tunes and campaigns. Enjoy and Happy Friday!
Great pop song on a crispy video homepage from Greg Laswell, featuring Sarah Bareilles. Their Download Anywhere campaign lands on the artist Facebook page and is getting them impressive results in number of Likes. The stop-motion animation video homepage is available on our mobiles, taboot.
Another Download Anywhere example from Your Favorite Enemies. You may notice our “Confirm and Download” email is much prettier these days!
Here’s a Valentine’s Day promo which ran last week for Incubus and was very successful. It previews the live Incubus bootlegs we’ll be launching later this year from their last tour.
Similar example of Download Anywhere’s destination page driving Facebook Likes for artists, this time for Joe Pug. Double your pleasure by collecting an email address AND getting a Facebook Like.
Memories came spiraling through my mind when I saw Meat Loaf is using Topspin. I’m hoping it is both partially cool and partially risky for me to say here how much I listened to Meat Loaf around the seventh grade.

digital topspin free music greg laswell sigur ros incubus your favorite enemies joe pug meat loaf