Getting Close With Close Talker; Immersion

Saskatchewan Trio Close Talker. Taken from their ticket page on eventbrite.

I’m sure by now we’ve all heard of a Silent Disco. A dance party with music playing only through headphones that lets parties go on way past noise curfews. What about 3D movies? C’mon that’s nothing new, surely we’ve all seen something jump out of the screen at us by now.

Where am I going with this? Canadian indie trio Close Talker has just announced Immersion a “3D-360 Silent Headphones Tour”. The idea is that the audience will wear headphones at the show and these headphones “will utilize cutting edge binaural mixing technology, live in real time.” and “The sound will fully immerse the audience with instrumentation and voices orbiting and swirling around them on all axes”.

If you want a taste of what it’s going to be like you can check out this video, which announced the tour.

My thoughts? I’m not too sure actually. I go to a fair bit of concerts and there’s nothing I love more than live music. I am also all about trying new things artistically, when Kanye announced his flying stage; I pounced on tickets immediately.

Kanye’s Saint Pablo Tour was highlighted with his floating stage and was met with critical acclaim. Taken from movietvtechgeeks.com

The concertgoer in me thinks “What’s the fun of listening to it in headphones?” Yes, it’s still live- but isn’t part of the fun listening to the music raw and unfiltered from a speaker? Isn’t that what makes live music truly “live”? But concerts are also about, in my opinion, the overall experience. I saw Weezer when they toured here and it was a blast, not just because of the music but because of the atmosphere, the audience, the special effects on stage, it wasn’t just watching them play music live; there was a whole experience around it and that’s what made it such a memorable show.

Reading about Close Talker’s newest tour, I think it’s safe to say they are aiming to create a memorable experience for their audience. Not only will it feature 3D audio but it will also “showcase a local visual artist who will offer their interpretation of the music and manipulate their craft live”. I think is a really cool idea because it’s going to help a unique and local flavour to each show, no two shows are going to be exactly the same.

I’m also interested to see what the crowd will be like. One of my favourite things about seeing your favourite artist live is getting to do so with a crowd of other people, getting into the music together, and sometimes even making new friends in the audience. Listening to the music in headphones in what is sure to be a very intimate experience that gives a one-to-one feeling might alter that.

This idea has definitely made me rethink the way I view live music. Will this be more “experience” than “concert”? At the very least, Close Talker has definitely peaked my interest and I will likely be checking this out when it tours here.

Tickets are going on sale tomorrow for $25, which seems like an OK price for what promises to be an interesting show.

What do you think? Is this something you’re interested in? Have you been to something like this?

Let me know! I’m always curious to hear what others think.

– Nelson Ellis

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