Listening to M83’s song "My Tears Are Becoming a Sea" while sleeping can stir nocturnal gluten cravings, and drum-machine artist AraabMUZIK makes beats so fast they reverse gravity. These are some of the "discoveries" made in eMusic Experiments, short films created by Mother New York to promote artists featured on eMusic.com.
"The music space is heavily crowded with digital music services shouting about how many tracks they have and how much they cost," says Mother creative Stacey Lee. "We felt like this film series was a great place for eMusic to show their target audience their unique positioning in the music space, a service that is beyond just tracks and downloads."
The people who use subscribe to eMusic, a subscription download service with supplemental editorial content, are "culturally independent music collectors," adds eMusic CMO Brad Soroca. "This campaign reflects their desire to know more about the artist’s story and work."
While the two films made so far present ridiculously funny, tongue-in-cheek scenarios with a retro look and feel, each narrative is, in fact, rooted in a truth about the artist. For example, the songs on M83’s album Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming were inspired by the dreams of lead singer Anthony Gonzales. So Mother concocted a film that has researchers camping out in the bedrooms of M83 fans sent to bed listening to the new album and testing how the music affects the subjects’ sleep patterns. While one woman sleep walks and winds up on the kitchen counter ingesting flour to satisfy a sudden gluten craving, another subject sits up in bed appearing wide awake even though he is sleeping.
M83 isn’t seen in its film, but the band was an integral part of the creative process, sharing insights about their music, Lee says. Meanwhile, the Mother creative team brainstormed with AraabMUZIK on how best to approach his film and also saw him perform live a few times to get a feel for his music and style. It was ultimately decided that AraabMUZIK would appear in his film in which scientists conduct a number of silly experiments involving a string hooked up to speakers, dripping water, and a girl doing cartwheels in order to prove that the drum-machine master slices beats so fast he defies the laws of nature.
A skilled improviser, AraabMUZIK made up the track featured in the film as it was being shot and liked it so much he later polished it, dubbed it "DoomsDay," and made it available exclusively through eMusic.
Mother plans to produce a series of eMusic Experiments films for other artists going into 2012. "We will be adding a participatory element," Lee notes, "taking these explorations to music festivals and beyond."