Icelandic music legends Sigur Rós have always been at the forefront of musical and artistic innovation, and now they have taken it even further. Recently the band revealed that they have been working with tech startup Magic Leap for a mixed reality app called Tónandi, a made-up Icelandic word meaning “sound spirit.”
Headquartered in South Florida, Magic Leap is a mysterious tech startup that focuses on “mixed reality” technology. A combination of augmented reality and virtual reality, mixed reality is the merging of the digital world and the real world. Users are able to see and interact with digital objects in their physical environment.
Sigur Rós have been working on the app Tónandi with Magic Leap for the past four years, and they posted a dreamy video teaser. The band composed music specifically for this project. “This could be the new way to release an album,” said Georg Hólm, the band’s bassist and spokesperson.
Magic Leap invited Pitchfork writer Marc Hogan to test the app, and according to Hogan, he could interact with the “sound spirits” and change the sounds he was hearing with his hands. Every user’s experience will be different, as well as the sounds they hear.
There is no release date set for Tónandi yet, but the app has garnered attention from Sigur Rós fans as well as tech giants like Google. Listening to music is often a rather passive experience, but now Tónandi gives us an opportunity to interact with and alter the music we hear—building on the innovations of Björk’s Bjork: Digital interactive exhibit.
Read our recent interview with Sigur Rós here.