Eighties’ pop sensation and multimedia maverick Howard Jones has announced the release of his latest creation ENGAGE on 5th March on interactive CD/DVD and digital format, allowing fans to fully interact with the content. The launch will be celebrated with a one-off show at the Indigo at the O2 in London on 20th February. The release and live show were both supported by a Pledge campaign which has already reached over 100% of its target.
ENGAGE is centred around Jones’ live show, first performed in November 2013 at London’s Shepherds Bush Empire, to celebrate the 30th Anniversary of his career. The groundbreaking concept, which includes a vast array of influences that have shaped his work, incorporates the audience’s participation through audio-visual elements and the use of apps. It’s a celebration of arts seen through Howard’s eyes, using all the expressions he loves the most: music, ballet, contemporary dance, cinema and philosophy.
“I conceived ENGAGE as a live visceral experience”, Howard explains, “I imagined myself at the venue and imagined what it would be like to be at a gig and how exciting you could make the music and the visuals and make it a fully immersive experience. I didn’t want to think of just another studio album or another live concert DVD; I wanted to liberate myself from conventional song structures. I wanted cinematic textures, big sub-bass moments, and dramatic coordinated visuals.”
Getting into details about the innovative formats made available for ENGAGE, Howard says, “Each piece has either something to interact with or to physically construct with online support. ENGAGE comes as a DVD mixed in 5.1 and stereo and an audio CD. With the book comes another DVD with live performances of 12 acoustic and electric tracks”. Both audio and video will be available as well for download from iTunes. Going the extra mile in terms of creativity hit the right button with fans of his work, as the Engage Pledge campaign recently reached its target with over 2 months still to go. Amongst the packages on offer for Pledgers was Howard’s Roland G8 Keyboard (now gone), a unique personal solo composed by the artist appositely and several VIP packages for the London event.
The show will be structured in two parts: first will be the full ENGAGE experience, followed by a greatest hits live set. The ENGAGE live performance is a 38 minute music and visual journey and includes audience interaction through apps, fluorescent gloves and make-up – which will be supplied to ticketholders at the venue. The early part of the show will be performed behind a kabuki curtain, highlighting silhouettes and shadows of both musicians and dancers for a surreal stylized result, with the help of state-of-the-art projections. Led-lit umbrellas and hats from the Paralympics are also used for additional special effects in some of the film clips. Next to Howard on keyboards, Jonathan Atkinson on electronic drums and Robbie Bronnimann on live sequencing/sampling and effects will complete the band’s line up.
Tickets for the London show on 20th February 2015 are available here:
To Pledge go to http://www.pledgemusic.com/projects/howardjonesengage
Howard Jones first burst on the scene in 1983 bringing his very English song-writing and pioneering synthesizers to an unsuspecting world. His first two albums Human’s Lib and Dream into Action counted a number of worldwide hits including New Song, What is Love?, Pearl in the Shell, Hide and Seek (which he performed at Live Aid in 1985), Like to Get to Know You Well, Look Mama, Things Can only Get Better, Everlasting Love and No One is To Blame. A classically trained pianist, Jones applied his technique to the early synths particularly the Roland Juno 60, the Jupiter 8 and the Moog Prodigy. In the early days he was triggering sequencers live on stage whilst playing and singing, something that no one had done before. He pioneered the classic Roland 808 drum machine and the Sequential Pro-One, was a leading exponent of the Roland Fantom G8 and the V-piano and worked closely with Roland on the development of the Jupiter 80. These days he still operates on the cutting edge of technology and continues to tour extensively while occasionally collaborating with dance music giants like Eric Prydz and Ferry Corsten.
For More information head to http://www.howardjones.com