SXSW Film Festival World Premiere of The Melody of Dust from Viacom NEXT and Hot Sugar Journeys Beyond the Music VR Video
Step Inside the Mind of a Romantic Composer, Combining Everyday Objects in a Reactive Vortex to Unlock Original Melodies
In the mesmerizing The Melody of Dust music VR experience premiering in the 2017 SXSW Film Festival’s VR/AR Program, every object (a rose, champagne, a dove and more) hides a unique sound. Viacom NEXT, the emerging technology group at Viacom and musician Hot Sugar, will present the world premiere of The Melody of Dust at the SXSW Virtual Cinema which runs from March 14-16.
In addition to The Melody of Dust, Viacom NEXT is excited that the wide-eyed jovial kittens featured in Chocolate created by Tyler Hurd, will be a part of the SXSW Virtual Cinema.
The Melody of Dust is a deconstructed VR music collection that features 87 unique melodies created by Hot Sugar. To reveal the melodies, you explore the musician’s ethereal castle and are invited to pick up items that have a sound emanating from it. A variety of melodies are revealed when you toss three different objects into the reactive vortex. Eventually the vortex erupts, revealing a final unique song from Hot Sugar. The debut trailer can be viewed here: themelodyofdust.com.
The Melody of Dust and Chocolate are two of 38 unique VR experiences showcased in the SXSW Virtual Cinema; film festival badges are required for entry.
“I've always preached that any object in the universe is a musical instrument whether we know how to play it or not,” said Nick Koenig, also known as Hot Sugar. “With Viacom NEXT, we've created a VR experience that lets the user confirm that concept within the visual aesthetic of my videos.”
“We are honored to have The Melody of Dust, the first of its kind deconstructed VR music experience, premiering at SXSW,” said Chaki Ng, SVP Viacom NEXT. “Our VR design and development team worked with Hot Sugar daily as VR development and music creation happened in parallel.” He added, “What makes The Melody of Dust unique is the whole experience is ‘the song,’ not just the audio soundtrack at the end. We believe this is a glimpse of what the future of music could look and feel like as you step into the mind of a musician.”
“In this year’s new Virtual Cinema, we not only put an emphasis on storytelling and ingenuity but also showcase how other industries are embracing and excelling in this exciting new medium,” said Blake Kammerdiener, VR Programmer. “We’re excited to include The Melody of Dust and Chocolate – among this year’s standouts--to our enthusiastic and smart audiences.”
In mid-2016, Viacom NEXT assembled a team of creative professionals with backgrounds in film, theater, app development, games and engineering to produce original VR experiences. Other recent Viacom NEXT VR productions include Chocolate created by Tyler Hurd, which premiered at Sundance and was recognized by The Verge as a Best Interactive Virtual Reality runner-up, and Smash Party VR , the hilarious hell-raising Virtual Reality collaboration with Titmouse, the Emmy award-winning animation studio.
About Viacom NEXT
Viacom NEXT is working on the future of entertainment. We explore, prototype and develop novel projects with our brands (which include MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Paramount Pictures and BET) and with external partners including startups, academics (e.g., MIT, CMU, and major NYC universities via the NYC Media Lab) as well as creators, artists, and musicians. With a focus on Virtual Reality, we are making room-scale interactive music experiences, narrative worlds, games, and exploring live-action capture techniques. Visit us online at http://viacomnext.com
Nick Koenig, also known as Hot Sugar, multidisciplinary artist
Nick Koenig is a multidisciplinary artist best known for his music under the name Hot Sugar. He is the founder of a musical philosophy referred to as Associative Music, a modernized branch of musique concrete. His latest project, The Melody of Dust premieres at SXSW alongside an album of the same name. Developed in collaboration with Viacom NEXT, the VR music experience is an extension of Hot Sugar’s musical philosophy. Nick Koenig was the subject of the feature length documentary Hot Sugar's Cold World, which premiered at SXSW in 2015.