Drop Science: Matthew Dear + The Sounds of GE
August 26, 2014
The world around us is made of music. This is what happens when you listen in.
The sound of a passing car. A turbine in the distance. Wind blowing through your hair. The tap of a keyboard. A heart beating. Everything around us is music. It’s not background. It’s life, and it’s larger than life.
When you listen, you hear more than noise. You hear the acoustic fingerprints of the machines and bodies around us. This is the audible grid. And it’s obsessively cataloged by the engineers at GE, who use sonic signatures to monitor the health of industry and the performance of some of the world’s most brilliant machines.
The Drop Science project is an innovative campaign that asks fans to listen differently. Our goal is to use BitTorrent’s media network to spark a global conversation about music, technology, and invention.
Sandy Diep, Vice President, Advertising at BitTorrent
For musician Matthew Dear, this catalog became a living composition. Dear listened to, and looped, thousands of big sounds. Engines. Turbines. Oil shafts. And the sound of engineered propulsion turned into something human: a full song, culminating in a much-anticipated drop.
Our team wants to explore powerful new distribution channels. BitTorrent is an interesting way to distribute both a great piece of music, as well as the components, for people to interpret on their own.
Colin Nagy, Executive Director of Media & Distribution, The Barbarian Group
In partnership with GE, Matthew Dear and The Barbarian Group, we’re releasing Drop Science as an interactive Bundle. Download the Bundle, and unlock the new track, 12 remix-able sound files from GE’s audio library, video, art, and more. Tune in.
Working on “Drop Science” for GE was equal parts inspiring, liberating, and daunting. Sorting through over a thousand sounds seemed a monumental task at first, but once I found the cornerstones of the project, my song quickly evolved and came to represent my time spent at the Niksayuna Global Research Center. I was thoroughly inspired by the people I met, and have a much better understanding of the noises GE makes to help make the world function more smoothly.
Matthew Dear, Musician
Matthew Dear + The Sounds of GE: Drop Science
01 Matthew Dear + The Sounds of GE: Drop Science (Audio)
02 The Sounds of GE (HTML)
03 About GE (HTML)
04 Curated Photo Collection (Art)
05 Drop Science Motion (GIFs)
06 Matthew Dear + The Sounds of GE: Drop Science (WAV)
07 Remix Audio Loops (Audio)
Words with Colin Nagy: Inside Barbarian’s Drop Science Campaign
BitTorrent: We may spend countless hours in front of a screen, on our phones, in our cars — but we tend to think of mechanical sound as background noise. This project proves that it’s something more. That the audible grid is art. Was that your goal? What was the inspiration for Drop Science?
Colin Nagy: We were inspired by hidden frequencies that actually can convey a lot of information, if you know how to listen. We thought it was immensely interesting how GE acoustic engineers are required to be extremely in tune with frequencies.
BitTorrent: Drop Science is a song, a video, art; an interactive, infinitely-remix-able archive. What was your strategy for this campaign? Why did you choose this approach?
Nagy: We wanted to create really interesting content for (i) various levels of audience and (ii) stuff that feels native to the environment you are watching it in.
For example, the video has a high-level overview that anyone can wrap their heads around, and watch on YouTube or in their social feed. The Soundcloud track is a track that someone shares or reblogs, and will hopefully catch your eye as you’re listening to music on the platform. The sound files and clips are for people that are more hands-on; who can load the heavyweight industrial sounds into a sampler or sequencer, and create. So, in essence, there’s a ton of really interesting modular content that is easily shared for various levels of engagement.
BitTorrent: How do you see brand behavior changing with / adapting to the new media landscape? What’s working? (Or not?)
Nagy: Everyone’s creating content. Be more interesting, be active on a lot of channels and hopefully the right content will find the right people. It’s actually quite funny how easily that happens these days if the work is genuinely interesting. It also helps to have the right structure in place for paid social and amplification efforts — one that allows you to be nimble.
BitTorrent: What role do direct-to-fan publishing platforms, like BitTorrent Bundle, or SoundCloud, play in your media plans? How can they be an asset to brands?
Nagy: We are inspired by BitTorrent as a new distribution model; a way put cool content and assets into the hands of some of the most ravenous music fans. Every brand needs to be constantly experimenting with their distribution and we’re really happy with how this partnership is shaping up.
BitTorrent: Where’s the drop?
Nagy: Oh, Internet! 🙂
About BitTorrent Bundle
BitTorrent Bundle is an alpha project made with and for the web’s creative community. Our mission is to help artists connect directly with fans, inside the content they share.
Each BitTorrent Bundle allows artists to distribute content directly to the Internet. And each Bundle comes with a key. Fans can unlock artist content with an email address. The idea is to make each song a storefront, and each file more valuable, every time it’s shared. Got ideas for the next BitTorrent Bundle? Hit us up.