Reify is a new medium of creative expression for artists, and a deeper, connected music experience for fans.
As enjoyable as listening to music may be, it is often times just one-dimensional. But what if, instead of simply hearing your favorite tunes, you were able to actually see and feel them at the same time? That is idea behind one Brooklyn-based startup’s latest innovation dubbed Reify — a term that refers to the act of making something abstract more real.
Led by Allison Wood and Kei Gowda, the team of designers and engineers have launched a Kickstarter campaign for what they hope will usher in a new age of cross-sensory experiences, strengthening the bonds between musicians and their fans.
The process begins by collaborating with an artist on a range of visual interpretations of a specific song which take the form of abstract 3D models. These models, also known as totems, are created via Harmony — a custom audio-to-physical engine and parametric design software — and then 3D-printed.
From there, Reify encodes these objects using Unity and Vuforia with the original tunes and a series of intense, mind-blowing visuals. Along with an accompanying mobile app called Stylus, these totems morph right before a user’s eyes, taking them on a augmented reality journey like never before imagined — unless, of course, you’re Kanye West. As the song plays through Stylus, users have the ability to move the screen around to see all sides of the transforming, psychedelic sculpture as it changes shapes, bounces around and pulsates in sync with the audio track being played.
So far, the team has designed hundreds of experimental totems spanning across different music genres, with each one as unique as the song it represents.
“Each experience is unique in style and content. Some are game-like. Some are conceptual explorations. Others are both…and neither. All are direct expressions of the artist’s creative vision,” its creators note.
The NYC startup has taken to Kickstarter to help fund their project, where they are currently seeking $150,000. Whether or not, Reify achieves its goal, one thing is for certain: it’s awesome to see the Maker Movement continue to inspire engineers, designers and hobbyists to dream up ways to bring music to life.