Artist News Digital

Brian May and Paul McCartney go VR

By | Published on Thursday 26 May 2016

Paul McCartney

Virtual reality is our future. And that future is being ushered in by Brian May and Paul McCartney. Obviously. Who else?

May has actually been working in the field for a number of years now with his London Stereoscopic Company, and next month is due to launch a £25 OWL Virtual Reality Kit, which looks a bit like a Viewmaster with a smartphone in it.

“Virtual reality has already taken the technology world by storm, and most of the virtual reality devices you’ll find will be things that surround your eyes, like the Google Cardboard thing, like the Oculus Rift”, said May at a launch event, according to Music Ally.

“That’s how people thought this particular reproduction of virtual reality should be experienced. But people get fatigued quickly from these things, and they get annoyed because they can’t reach in to get to their phone controls. I quickly realised [the OWL] was in some ways a better way of viewing virtual reality”.

You’ll be able to get your hands on the OWL next month, but if you’ve already got a virtual reality set up, right now you can watch the first two parts of a new six part Paul McCartney documentary series, in VR! Each episode sees the former Beatle discuss memories and anecdotes, as well as sharing archive and never before seen footage, all in VR, in the run up to the release of his new compilation, ‘Pure McCartney’.

“It is an honour to be part of such a tremendously talented team of artists, tasked with documenting the thinking of this great man, in order to bring his fans a new means of experiencing some of his greatest songs”, says director Tony Kaye. “His musical genius is now on display for the world in an entirely new light”.

The first episodes – ‘Coming Up’ and ‘Dance Tonight’ – are available to watch now on virtual reality video site Jaunt.

In other virtual reality news, what claims to be the first dedicated music VR platform – MelodyVR – will officially launch later this year with a catalogue of performances from artists including Skepta, Annie Mac, Fall Out Boy and the London Symphony Orchestra.

Keeping with the theme of old rockers getting in on the act, The Who’s Roger Daltrey says of working with MelodyVR: “In the olden days, 1971, Pete Townshend wrote a science fiction musical called ‘Lifehouse’ about a future where people didn’t have to leave the home to get real life experiences from outside their four walls, we thought he was mad! But he proved to be right. MelodyVR have managed to bring this to life”.

Here’s to never going outside again…