Experimental musician Bill Baird has written, recorded and remixed an album that is truly unique to each listener. Partnering with interactive director collective One Pixel Wide, Summer Is Gone is a live website experience that uses an algorithm to curate an idiosyncratic album, where no two people will be listening to the same piece of music when they log on. The album aims to comment on the past, while being simultaneously forward thinking.
Peter and Cal of One Pixel Wide have designed the website to visualise this transitional album. When a user logs on to Summer Is Gone, “the site tracks the user’s local time at the point they visited, an arithmetic sequence formula is then created to select a track from the bank of remixes each hand mixed by Bill. One selection for each of the ten tracks on the album,” explains Peter. Once this sequence has been created it will not be repeated, “it gets stored forever against the user’s visit.”
The graphic language of the website is influenced by the concept of time passing that the project has initiated from, it is “ever changing, ephemeral, completely unique; just like every hour of our lives," Bill says. For its physical release the LP is finished with holographic foil, reflecting the sunlight that enabled the arithmetic sequence of the website to work, “pushing out different colours as light hits the sleeve.” This notion is animated on the website says Cal, “creating a shifting texture that never stays the same."
The format in which music is released has consistently changed over the past decade. Digital advances of course have their positive enhancements but the art of putting on an album and listening to it’s entirety has been lost. Summer Is Gone uses the positives of the digital age to create an opportunity for an audience to sit still and enjoy this musical and artistic partnership, before it disappears.
About the Author
Lucy (she/her) joined It’s Nice That as a staff writer in July 2016 after graduating from Chelsea College of Art. In January 2019 she was made deputy editor and in November 2021, became a senior editor predominantly working on It’s Nice That's partnerships. Feel free to get in contact with Lucy about creative projects for the site or potential partnerships.