Imogen Heap's Unconventional New Music Release Plans

RCA had this interesting announcement: Imogen Heap has announced plans to release the first song and video from her new album on March 28th, 2011.

However, the catch is... she hasn't written the song or any other material yet for the album. Imogen plans to gradually reveal the album over the next three years by writing and releasing a brand new track every three months. In true Imogen Heap fashion, she will be video blogging the entire process.

Rather than wait and release all the tracks as an album in the conventional way, Imogen plans to put the songs out as soon as they are ready and keep them relevant to the time they are created. Once she has completed enough tracks, she intends to release a proper physical / digital album.

With the upcoming release of her first song (working title of #HeapSong1) under this new model, Imogen will turn the tables on her audience, inviting them to act as her virtual muse by submitting words, sounds or music to influence her creative process.

Further to this, Imogen will be asking fans to upload images and video to feature in accompanying the release "because there are already many visual artists looking to add to the creative pot in friendly circles, why source further?".

The Timeline for '#HeapSong1' is as follows;

March 14: The 'recording' process will begin with Imogen's fans uploading sound 'seeds' for the song (a cat's meow, rustling leaves, banging on pots and pans) from all over the world via Soundcloud to her #heapsong1 microsite. Imogen will be online chatting about and choosing those sounds her instincts draw her to.

March 15: People can submit words to a 'wordcloud' where more popular words visually grow in size. Imogen will be watching and writing at home being inspired by these 'buzz' words with an aim to encapsulate that day in time, lyrically.

March 16: A space for people to upload their own photographs/ drawings/ stencils etc. they feel connect to the past two inspirational 'seed' day's themes in some way. The favorite/s will be incorporated into the 3DiCD (a virtual 3D CD) digital artwork.

March 17: Thursday is for moving image (animation/film etc). These will be the core of the video for the song. Again, urging people to choose clips they feel flow with the direction of the song.

March 18: Imogen will reveal the middle section of the song only... here she will encourage people to record a 'solo' (beatbox, cello, vocal, spoons, you name it) via Soundcloud over this section.

March 19: Imogen will discuss and choose one or some of these solos which will be added into the mix.

March 21: The song will be written and completed by the morning of the March 21st, just in time to make the video which will be filmed, edited and ready for release on March 28th.
March 26: During this period Imogen will be inviting/challenging fans to draw inspiration from those same initial seeds and finish a piece of work of their own, whether that might be poetry, music or a video blog response.

March 28: Taking things to the extreme, Imogen will reveal the first listen of the song publicly on her website on March 28th in parallel with a live remix by Tim Exile who will also be hearing it for the first time. http://www.timexile.com

All submissions go through the #heapsong1 microsite specifically built for this project where fans, friends and interested onlookers can watch the whole process over two weeks via blogs and daily live webchats on Ustream.

Imogen comments on why she chose to work this way; "There's so much going on in my life with touring, talks and tech that the choice to do this was both a temporal necessity coupled with my passion for collaborative, spontaneous and creative projects. I also love the idea that the seeds of the song begins with the fans making a full circle when it's experienced as a finished piece."

"The unknown nature of what it will sound like is so exciting to me. I often thrive on a deadline (Speeding Cars + CAN' TAKE IT IN were both written/recorded in a week) and creative limitations (Glittering Cloud - a song about locusts using purely locust samples as the rhythm track). I want to really put myself to the test and I'm going to have fun doing it!"

To cap it all off, on the night of the 28th Imogen will be hosting a release party for those fans involved in the final recording and visual aspects.

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