TEDx Auckland: 2nd October 2012
Booktrack Sound Engineers Publishing
Booktrack melds together the two things that spark me up like a fire cracker: words and music. And at the beginning of this year when I heard that the prolific composer John Psathas had scored the music for Salmon Rushdie’s short story In the South, in that moment I knew the people behind Booktrack had teamed up two giants on the creative stomping ground. I snatched up the iPad, hit download, and became completely immersed.
In the South is set in India, and having never travelled to India, the music created a deeper ethnic connection to the backdrop of the story, transforming the book into a more communicative art form. There is this part in the book where Salmon writes,
“…to notice the moment when the thing happened that must happen to us all in the end, when the last little puff of vapor pops out of our mouths and dissolves into fetid air.”
And the music feels naked and haunting, and transfixed, like a scene out of a movie. But a few pages further in there is an earthquake, and just as the first giant wave hits, the drum roll proceeds and the music becomes dark and physical.
Paul Cameron, CEO of Booktrack and TEDxAuckland 2012 speaker, lined up an opportunity for me to meet John Psathas in Wellington.
Says John, with a strike of passion that is contagious, “Creating music for In the South was about evoking the world that the story was placed in. I must have read it fifty times! I read the book so many times the whole thing was inside me before I started writing music.”
John scored the short story over a two month period and then sixty six performers from the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra (NZSO) recorded the music in one day. And the post production was handled by none other than Park Road Post, (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and King Kong).
But the exciting part really is that Booktrack is still in its infancy. Paul Cameron is a determined man. He went out there and secured funding from some of the most exceptional investors in the world, and now the Booktrack library is starting to expand, the technology is being developed and improved all the time, and essentially we’re dealing with disruptive technology – an innovation that helps create a new market and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market. The bar has not yet been set.
No one really knows how we will be consuming ebooks five years from now.
For the first time since the printing press came into being, the world of reading is changing dramatically. Especially for the younger generations who have been raised with digital TV and music on the move, sound has become a natural enrichment of their habitat.
And I don’t know exactly what Paul has planned for his TEDx Talk on Saturday 6 October, but one thing is certain; to trigger the pursuit of knowledge and creativity is to enter a realm of limitless possibilities.