Artist: Bluebrain Song: 'Bring Out Your Dead' Album: 'Cult Following EP' Sounds…
- Posted on Jul 7th 2011 3:00PM by Robert Ham
Well, you can't get much more high concept than what the brothers Holladay have come up with for their most recent album. Dubbed 'The National Mall,' their new work is what they call a "location-aware album." Only available as an app for your smartphone, the listener gets to hear the different songs on it by moving through the National Mall in Washington D.C., the expanse of land that runs from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol Building and flanked on either side by museums, memorials and other historic landmarks.
"It was certainly a practical decision for us," Ryan Holladay tells Spinner of the choice of this space for their new album. "We live in D.C. and wanted somewhere close by since we had to physically field test the album. But more than that, this is the city where we grew up. I saw my first fireworks display here. We both attended our first concert here. One of my earliest memories is from the carousel outside the Hirshhorn [Museum and Sculpture Garden]."
For the album, the two put maps of the Mall in their studio, working out which pieces would go with which section of the nearly two-mile area. And with the diversity of building and landscapes, they had to come up with an equally unique collection of songs and sounds.
"There are hours of music on there," says Ryan, "so we know it had to be interesting enough if someone wanted to walk the entire thing. It ranges from the very abstract and ambient to orchestral and even very heavy blast beat drumming. Sometimes all at the same time."
Now that Bluebrain have logged in all the hours writing the music and setting up the app, they are itching to make more location-aware albums like 'The National Mall.'
"The next one will be in Queens, New York at Corona Park in Flushing Meadows," Ryan says. "It's the former site of the 1964 World's Fair. It's a beautiful park with an incredible history. The tentative title for the app/album is 'A Shrinking World in an Expanding Universe,' which was the theme of the fair. This one is well under way and should be out fairly soon. After that, we're starting work on one that will stretch the length of Highway 1 in California."
Follow @Spinner on Twitter | Like Spinner on Facebook
Download Bluebrain Songs | Buy Bluebrain Albums