Interactive Music Forms – Will Audiences Interact

  • 2015-06-22

LUNCHTIME DOUBLE FEATURE PART 2, talk by Tracy Redhead (University of Newcastle)


The Music industry media has suggested the idea of an ‘interactive album’ could help save the recording music industry (Buskirk, 2009) but has provided little evidence as to how exactly this might work. This lecture examines a new model for recorded music to determine the viability and potential uptake of a release format that invites user participation. The purpose of this proof of concept was to design and create a new interactive music release format that is tested on a sample of users to understand what factors might be critical to audience engagement. The idea for an interactive music release format proposes that instead of releasing a song on a CD or as an MP3, the artist arranges a song for a multi–track application (like a mobile app). This app then allows the audience to create their own versions of the song. This will allow the audience to co-create with musicians and participate instead of passively consuming music. This approach highlights how this type of form might impact artists in the future, if adopted, as it involves creating stems for a mixable, fluid format or open form instead of a fixed format like a radio edit, which is what current stem releases have been created for. The lecture argues that recorded forms of music are emerging into fluid forms and future music products could include participation as a basis.


Tracy is a musician, composer, researcher and project manager. She is a Lecturer at the University of Newcastle and is currently working on a PhD in interactive music composition. She completed a Master of Arts by Research in interactive music application formats. Where she designed her own interactive music app to release her next single and investigated how audiences may interact. For 15 years she performed, recorded and worked in the contemporary music industry. During this time her original approach has seen collaborations with well-known musicians including John Butler, Brian Ritchie from ‘The Violent Femmes’ and Charlie Owen from the “Beasts of Bourbon”. She has released four albums including solo works and collaborations. Her last single “Where it Fits” received 10,000+ downloads and was play listed nationally in Australia. She has also seen success in her music industry career being the founder of VROOM (Venue Resource of Original Music) an online national touring network created for AMIN (Australian Music Industry Network) and now licensed to Peer Group Media. As well as project managing the international networked music event The Space Time Concerto Competition. For more information see her website.


  • Tracy Redhead

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