I created the first interactive music site on the Internet, and here’s proof. I’ve been searching for a long time for as much concrete proof as I can find to support this claim, and now I finally have it.
A transcript of the video is here.
It was October 30, 1995, coinciding with the release of the first version of Shockwave that supported two layers of audio, and it was for my brilliant, visionary friends, The Young Gods.
I have my original handwritten notes from when I was working out the design, and screens from the wayback machine that go back to ’96, but earlier archives are lost. Most importantly, at last, I have the original source files up and running on my desktop! My code still compiles error-free after 30 years, mammajammas! I feel like Georges Melies in HUGO, when they play his movies for him that he thought were lost forever.
Here’s the original desciption from 1995, i.e., don’t expect any of the links to work. I’ll be publishing the code and doing a deep dive into it in a later video. For now, I am still absorbing the news that all this work may live again, at least enough to show on video, a faint substitute for the original, as the whole point was the suppleness of the interactivity, that you could stick your fingers into it, engage directly with the art. But, I’ll take whatever I can get at this point. Nobody has seen this working in 20 years.
SHOCKED GODS – Real Interactive Music from The Young Gods
Music by The Young Gods
Concept, Artwork, Audio and Interactivity by Frank Coleman (IVTV)
An impressionistic homage to the great Swiss rock band, The Young Gods. This demo lets you invoke chance elements and the processing power of the computer to experience, explore and recombine the music of The Gods into something new, yet still recognizable, just as their music is itself recombinant.
The first time I heard this band, I thought they had ten guitars and three bass players. Wrong! –> Vocals, sampler and drums! They map entire guitar riffs to individual keys via the magic of MIDI. When Alain plays with all ten fingers — voila, ten guitars!
– One 3-D landscape
– Three pyramids (the “hot spots”)
– About a dozen TYG music samples
– Two layers of music, controlled by you
– One “lead” layer (triggered by rolling over any pyramids)
– One “rhythm” layer (triggered by clicking on any pyramid)
– One 3-D “fly” cursor (controls the “lead” layer volume)
– One “destination” (your mind)
– Extended rant included as an optional side path.
Turn off: RAM Doubler; file sharing, virtual memory
Turn on: Netscape, Shockwave, 256 colors, lots of RAM, 16-bit stereo (headphones recommended)
Uploaded with permission of The Young Gods and Interscope Records.
Visit The Young Gods home page at www.theyounggods.com
Subscribe to the TYG mailing list: send the message, “subscribe Envoye” to email@example.com
After you’re done with this demo, run out and buy all their records.
Made With Macromedia – 100% Lingo!
Here’s a press release we did from an event in the UK in ’96.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
BOSTON’S IVTV + SWISS TYG = GLOBAL ROCK ‘N’ ROLL SHOCKWAVE ON THE INTERNET
“Shocked Gods,” an interactive “Shockwave” Web page based on the sights and sounds of the Swiss industrial rock band, The Young Gods, will be featured at a popular Internet site in England called “The Freezer” tonight, Friday, June 21st, as part of The Longest Day Atmos Party.
It allows anyone connected to the World Wide Web to play real interactive music on their Mac or Windows computer — directly over the Internet.
Created by multimedia pioneer Frank Coleman, CEO of Needham-based IntraVenous TeleVision (IVTV), this new work should “open up many more doors for all involved because Shockwave is very hot right now, and people are starving for really cool interactive things to play with over the Net. In fact,” says Coleman. “people who otherwise might not have taken the time to check out the band will do so now, simply because they are the subject of a Shockwave movie!”
Interscope recording artists The Young Gods are one of today’s most influential rock bands. They have toured the world many times, and even recorded an album of hard rock versions of music by Kurt Weill. Their most recent single, “Kissing The Sun,” from the album “Only Heaven,” has been featured on MTV’s 120 Minutes, and they recently performed in Fitchburg, opening for Ministry. Irish megastars U2 claimed they were heavily influenced by them while recording “Achtung Baby.”
“This is a fairly radical departure from most Interactive Press Kits and Enhanced CDs,” Coleman says, “because it lets you explore and recombine the music of The Gods for yourself. The result is something new and different every time, yet completely faithful to the band, because their music is based on recombinant samples. It really pushes the boundaries of the Internet — but that’s what The Young Gods and IVTV are all about! Pushing the edge!”
Coleman is also responsible for “My Life < 3 MB.” Created in just 10 days, “My Life < 3 MB” is a dark and quirky self-promotional piece that allows the user to interact with pictures and sounds drawn from Mr. Coleman’s 30-year career as an artist, animator, musician and computer programmer. This piece recently was honored with a 1996 NewMedia INVISION Award which was Mr. Coleman’s second INVISION Award in two years.
In addition, Mr. Coleman is the founder and CEO of IntraVenous TeleVision (IVTV), a new interactive television network that was recently featured in The Boston Phoenix.
The Freezer can be found at:
Home of <>Fuzzy Groove
Queen Anne House Charlotte St. Bath
BA1 2NE UK