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date: 23 August 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article appears in the Oxford Handbook of Sound and Image in Digital Media edited by Carol Vernallis, Amy Herzog, and John Richardson. Digitalization has brought profound changes to the way people make and experience music. This essay examines the implications of the mobile app format for audiovisual aesthetics through a case study of Björk’s Biophilia (2011). A number of consequences and opportunities of this new format are identified: new aesthetic and pedagogical implications of music visualization, immersive versus “distributed” modes of listening, interactivity and multisensory experience of music, and the creation of a curated artistic vision that counters the fragmentation and lack of multimedia experience associated with prevalent practices of music consumption via MP3 download. The essay ends by considering the relationship to interactive video, computer games, and the physical music artefact, arguing that mobile music apps are (re)introducing interactivity and multimodality into the experience of recorded music.

Keywords: music app, music album, interactivity, multisensory, Björk, Biophilia

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