Scott Snibbe on Music Apps + Eyegroove
Music and design are near and dear to many of us. But most of us have yet to fully integrate the two as seamlessly as Scott Snibbe.
Enter Snibbe’s online world of wondrous music apps—his latest venture that includes close collaboration with artists like Beck, Björk and Radiohead. Stumble upon his website and you’re greeted by syncopated beats and the likes of Philip Glass on short video. It’s an adventure all of it’s own (and you’ve yet to download a single thing).
It seems that many interactive designers have their hands in creating apps these days, but Snibbe is capturing an essence with music apps that’s surely his own. And, he’s calling on some of the greatest talent. “Music is the most emotional medium and the only one that can change your mood instantaneously,” Snibbe says. “So in creating apps, it’s only natural to seek out the greatest musical talent in the world to work with.”
Where Music + Design Intertwine
Snibbe’s work with high profile musicians dates back to the 1990s. Now, as CEO of Eyegroove, he’s been joining forces with Passion Pit, Metric and others. “I think any great ‘filmmaker’ wants to collaborate with the greatest in all fields, and that’s my approach to interactivity – like a film director.”
Akin to a compelling film, Snibbe holds the “art of the public talk” on high. He cites it as “one of the few times where you can hold an audience’s attention for an hour [or more] and deliver a complex story…” No stranger to giving talks himself, Snibbe will keynote an upcoming HOW Interactive Design Conference in San Francisco this November 17-19, presenting “Music’s Virtual Future” and focusing on his work with Eyegroove. Like cinema, he views speaking publicly as “another form of entertainment.”
Cinematic arts, to Snibbe, are “an inherently collaborative medium.” And he equates app creation to filmmaking. “Making an app is a similar effort to filmmaking, so it’s only natural that it’s collaborative and involves a whole team,” Snibbe explains. “When you make a film (despite working years on perfecting the images), adding the music creates more than 50% of the emotional impact.”
Speaking of impact, few people have made an impact in the art world as profound as Snibbe. With many interactive installations under his belt and permanent art collections at MoMA, his understanding of “interactivity” across mediums is proven. “What I do is a seamless combination of software development, design, psychology, applying the principles of filmmaking, game design, visual art and music.”
It’s a fully integrated media approach, and a combination he sees as the future. “We are moving from TV channels and cinema screens to apps, and seeing the gradual birth of a new medium—essentially, everything we see on our little screens (and eventually bigger ones) is like a little interactive movie.”
Snibbe’s current work with Eyegroove is all about merging those mediums (and music) together. “It tries to condense down all the work we’ve done in interactive music into a single free app that has the potential audience of hundreds of millions, he says. “It turns out people really just want twenty or so apps on their phone, not thousands, so we created a new platform that is meant to be a delivery vehicle for interactive music, video, and effects.” Launched just two months ago, “it’s the first app that lets people instantly create short music videos with interactive effects and share them with others.
Snibbe is no stranger to aiming high, and his dedication to Eyegroove is no different: “I want to do for music video [with Eyegroove] what Instagram did for pictures.”
Well, Scott, we hope you do…