For his most recent cover of Bob Dylan’s Just Like a Woman, Jeff Buckley‘s creative team has pulled out all the stops. Dropping today is an interactive music video with a gabazillion possible iterations for the viewer to explore, creating a unique listening experience every time. Not too shabby for an artist who shuffled off this mortal coil almost 20 years ago.
Watching all the possible combinations of Buckley’s song will take you billions of years
Can I just say… It’s a bloody exciting time to be a music lover. Between the creative videos by OK Go, the novel, Twilio-powered way of launching a new song by Justin Bieber and, of course, David Bowie’s surrealist parting blow, there’s no shortage of creativity and innovation.
In Buckley’s new video, the listener can click on various panels of the video’s scrolling animation to change the story. Interesting enough on its own, but not all that innovative — Then, about 15 seconds into the video, the creators kick it up a notch, and start giving the viewer choices about the music itself as well, making it possible to create a remix on the fly, as the track is playing. How very cool, and how very Jeff Buckley.
The listener can choose to create a bare solo performance featuring little more than Buckley’s voice, or go all in, with piano accompaniment, full orchestration, and even a backing choir.
Dylan’s song-writing magic means that Just Like a Woman is multi-layered out the wazoo, and the magic of the interactive video, of course, is that it becomes possible to guide the listener towards one meaning or the other; the fully-orchestrated version sounds profoundly different than the stripped-back vocal version — and all the varieties in between give the listener new ways to hear the song, and new ways of exploring the music.
If you break out the calculator, you’ll find there are over 16,000 different music combinations that can be created, and the record company will gleefully tell you that if you look at all the different animated cells to alter the story, you end up with a mind-boggling number of different combinations. A sexdecillion, in fact, which is a one, followed by 51 zeros. In other words, watching all the possible combinations of Buckley’s song will take you billions and billions and billions and billions and billions of years. So, er, good luck with that.
The video will be available as an iOS app as well, and includes an option at the end to create a movie poster poster with all the cell combinations chosen by the user, which can be shared to your friends. And to your enemies, for that matter.
So, are you ready to fall into a music hole for a few hours? Excellent. Grab a beer, and let’s go: