The experience of being in a crowd of people, watching skilled musicians create their art, cannot be replicated. PixMob draws inspiration from great live music and its fundamental elements to connect crowds.
The musical element that resonates most deeply and most physically is the pulse. Whether it’s trance, afrobeat, jazz or rock n roll, the pulse is what you tap your foot to, what you dance to. It is the most basic rhythm that lays the foundation for everything else. In a sense, all the other musical elements – all the melody and harmony and lyrics – are just embellishments of the pulse. Even in venues where the subtleties can get lost, like loud nightclubs or stadiums of 20,000 people, the pulse of the music can be felt.
What distinguishes the best musical performers is their showmanship. Many people are capable of creating great music on stage, but a real performer brings the audience on a journey. The show becomes about more than the music: it’s about the performance, the lights, the grooves, and the connection between artist and audience.
The simplest choreography on stage – a band locking into two-step – connects with us in a visceral way, and can jolt the audience into the moment. Even the storytelling of Bruce Springsteen or the seemingly spontaneous almost-fainting-but-I-must-go-on of James Brown are well rehearsed pieces of theatrics, designed to stir emotion in the audience.
The idea that music is performed by musicians and observed by an audience, however, is relatively new. Tribes and communities have historically gathered to sing songs and dance together, connecting through music. As recently as a few hundred years ago there was no such thing as “I don’t know how to sing”. This musical spirit is felt to this day in jam sessions and religious services. The 2nd line parades of New Orleans are led by a brass marching band, but serve to bringing the community together.
A concert stands out as being great by bringing us back to this feeling of community. Some performers aim to do this by breaking down the ‘4th wall’ separating them from the spectator – whether it’s Bono and U2 inviting a woman from the audience to dance on stage to Mysterious Ways, or Arcade Fire parading through the Coachella with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band to end their show.
Light has a special power to create this connection. From holding a Zippo lighter in the air (or cell phone, or Big Bang flower to throwing glowsticks at a Phish concert, performers and audiences use light to create moments that unite themselves with the music.
PixMob takes this to the next level. Whether it is wristbands pulsating in Las Vegas with the music of Tiësto, LED balls bouncing in the crowd with Bassnectar, or blinking helicos descending from the sky at a Coldplay concert, PixMob uses light as the element to bring together the crowd, the performer, and the pulse of the music.