The O Music Awards are a lot of things: offbeat, outrageous, online, and, perhaps most importantly, ongoing. The Web never sleeps and neither do we (OK, maybe an occasional nap), which is why we couldn’t wait until the next awards show to throw honor someone’s way. The other week, we hit up SXSW, where we mingled with techies and bands, threw a rager in a barn outside of Austin, and, naturally, doled out a brand new award: Best SXSW Music App. And the recipients of said honor? The band BlueBrain, for their location-aware album/app, The Violet Crown.
The Violet Crown is the third location-aware album that BlueBrain (a.k.a. Ryan and Hays Holladay) have created. In October, the band launched an app for New York’s Central Park titled Listen To The Light that turned the park into a massive instrument, and their first offering, The National Mall (which could only be experienced at that national landmark), earned BlueBrain an O Music Award nomination for Best Music App.
All of these apps only work when the user is strolling through a specific location (Austin, DC, Central Park). Sections of a landscape are tagged with snippets of a musical composition, and the app uses the phone’s GPS to alter that music as the listener travels across that location.
The Violet Crown is the next chapter in the band’s series of location-specific albums, mapped to the landscape of the Austin, Texas, festival. Watch the guys’ acceptance speech below. To check out the actual app, well, you’ll most likely need a plane ticket.