Q&A with Developer Elemental Spark

By now I’d like to think that all of you have checked out “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience,” either in glorious, cutting-edge Virtual Reality or in the also awesome 360 Video version… Or at the very least in the 2d Youtube preview. Hopefully you also know that we won Best Animated Virtual Reality Music Video at the 2016 Virtual Reality Fest that took place during CES here in Las Vegas. And I also hope that when I say we, you know that I mean my multi-talented developer Elemental Spark (Michael Sullivan).

An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience Update

UPDATE 1/8/2016: WE WON!!!!! That’s right, “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience” won Best Animated VR Music Video! I’ll be posting another blog about our experience at VR Fest soon, but I just want to thank my developer Elemental Spark and the VR Fest for awarding us, as well as everyone who voted in the preliminary round before it went on to the final judges! So awesome!

UPDATE 1/4/2016: Thank you so much to all who voted for us… Because of you, “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience” made it into the finals! The awards will be announced on Thursday, January 7th, 2016 during the Virtual Reality Festival. We’ll also be there showcasing the video as well as “Gravity VR” and “The Invasion of 2012” all day at The Palms from Noon-Midnight. Hope to see some of you there!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost a year since we launched “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience,” the amazing Virtual Reality music video for the title track from my album An Unseen Sky. Developer Elemental Spark created something magical and groundbreaking that helped us get the attention of many news organizations and even Google themselves, due to our cutting-edge use of this new VR technology within a music video – something that had literally not been done before. Within weeks of our release, various artists such as Bjork and Squarepusher started to release VR music videos, and now, as we enter 2016 (which will end up being the year of VR), it’s pretty much a requirement for all the biggest names in Hollywood and the music industry to start releasing VR projects… But we were there first, and it’s been a wild ride.

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Hey Everyone!

This is not a blog post… I repeat… This is not a blog post

I recently had some events related to my Virtual Reality Music Video “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience” (developed by Elemental Spark), and during those events, some awesome people signed up for my mailing list. Then I got crazy busy, my computer died, I drove cross country for work, and I went on vacation with our dogs (as you can see in the picture above haha)… And now I got those people actually added to my mailing list… BUT for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to send a single, e-mail style message to my mailing list without it coming from my blog…

So for all intents and purposes, this is what you would be seeing from me in e-mail form, if I knew how to do that.

Hi. Thanks for signing up for my mailing list. On this mailing list I’ll be sending you occasional blog posts with news about my music. I told you all that I’d let you know when my VR Music Video was available on Google Play to go along with those free Google Cardboard headsets I gave you… And it’s available now! You can check it out at:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ElementalSpark.AnUnseenSkyAVRExperience

Please check it out, leave a nice review, and give us feedback! Elemental Spark is an amazing developer and will be continuing to support the release with bug fixes and performance improvements, as well as new features! Make sure to check out his website too at http://www.elementalspark.com

Oh, and if you made your way to this blog post (which it’s clearly not) without seeing it in your e-mail first, maybe you should sign up for the mailing list? You can sign up with the widget on the right side of this page.

So what else is new? Well I just had a screening of my “Shadows on the Ceiling” music video at the Vegas Indie Film Fest this past weekend, and also just found out that my video “If Only Tonight I Could Sleep” will be screening at the Las Vegas Lift-Off Film festival next month. So I’m very excited bout all of that. And more than anything, I’m excited to get back to work! I’m scoring 2 shorts and a feature film right now. So I am super busy… But I’m also finding some time to start working on some brand new music for what will undoubtedly become the next album. So I’ve got a lot of new stuff going on, which you will find out about on this mailing list.

Oh, one last thing… Most of you who signed up for the list at the recent events, you also bought the new album, An Unseen Sky. If you’re digging it, please go leave a review on your digital music store of choice. The album is on iTunes, Amazon, CDbaby… etc etc etc. Leave a review, share the album. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your support!

Thanks for reading!
– David

An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience

UPDATE (12/21/2015): The updates keep getting bigger… so this time I started a whole new blog post just to talk about them! Check it out news about the new version of An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience, our next VR Music Video, and our nomination for Best Animated VR Music Video at the VR Festival here: http://www.bydavidrosen.com/2015/12/21/an-unseen-sky-the-vr-experience-update/

UPDATE (11/22/2015): OK This is a BIG update… and I’ll probably do a totally new blog post to go along with it sometime this week… but An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience has recieved a huge new update which will hit Oculus Share & the Google Play Store soon. Right now, however, we now have an AMAZING 360 Video version of An Unseen sky on Facebook & Youtube. No VR Headset required (although it works with them too!). Just check it out on your computer or phone, and use your mouse or finger to move your perspective around. Check it out on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/elementalsparks/videos/942447599155960/ or on Youtube at: http://tinyurl.com/skyvr 

UPDATE (8/30/2015): I’ll be doing another event next weekend, September 5th & 6th in Jerome, Arizona during the Jerome 89A Film & Music Festival! More details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/342975395909581/414653578741762/ … And an update to “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience” IS incoming. More exciting news coming soon.

UPDATE (7/27/2015): Another event is coming up, tomorrow, 7/28/2015 at Tommy Rockers in Las Vegas… “Network 4 Spot”A Las Vegas Industry Mixer for  Charity put on by Lights, Camera, Vegas! More details at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1422218338107244/

UPDATE (5/20/2015): “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience” is now available on Google Play for Google Cardboard! Check it out here: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.ElementalSpark.AnUnseenSkyAVRExperience

Those of you that know me know that I’m basically a huge nerd. I’ve kind of fallen out of the loop a little here and there on things (how many different video card options does the world really need?), but when it comes down to it, my life revolves around technology. So when the opportunity presented itself to be on the cutting edge and create one of the world’s first Virtual Reality Music Videos… I jumped right on it.

First of all, I should back up a second and define what I mean by “create.” It’s my music, and my name is on it, but the title of creator belongs to Michael Sullivan of Elemental Spark. This video was his idea (well I think I had a little something to do with shaping it maybe a tad during our back and forth conversations haha), and he made it by himself. The graphics, design, the game engine it was built in. All his own design. He did such an awesome job on this thing, and I’m so glad I got to work with him. He’s going to make a big name for himself in the world of VR. As a matter of fact he’s currently making a VR game called Invasion 2012 which looks amazing. You can check out more info about it on his website.

On to the video itself, it’s for the title track off the new album, An Unseen Sky. “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience” allows you to visit an amazingly realistic virtual world that syncs up beautifully with the music. You wake up in a cave and make your way outside onto a gorgeous hill surrounded by mountains and dark clouds, before an epic storm begins. It’s a place that doesn’t exist but when you strap a virtual reality helmet on, it feels like it does. The video is currently available on the Oculus Share for the Oculus Rift VR headset and will very soon be on the Google Play store for use with the Google Cardboard VR headset. We hope to target more platforms in the future too. Another cool thing to look forward to in the future is the fact that because this is software, it can be updated. Unlike a traditional video, this app can be updated by Elemental Spark (and he has some great plans for it) to have even better graphics, new options, added details and elements. So there is a lot in store for “An Unseen Sky: The VR Experience.” You can catch a simple 2d preview of the video on Youtube, but the real way to experience it, is through the magic of virtual reality… And if you’re in Las Vegas, I’ve got some events set up where you can do just that.

First up on Monday, April 13th during the National Association of Broadcasters Convention (NAB), I’ll be showcasing the video at the VR Las Vegas sponsored VR Lounge party at Hyde Bellagio. It’s an honor to be able to be part of such an awesome event. More details will be coming soon, but in the meantime, if you’re interested in checking it out, you can RSVP to get in free here: https://vrlounge.formstack.com/forms/hydebellagio

Then on Saturday, April 18th, as part of both the release of Zia Record’s You Heard Us Back When Volume 9 (which will feature my track “Shadows on the Ceiling” from An Unseen Sky) AND Record Store Day, I will be showcasing the video at both Zia Records locations. I’ll be at the Eastern location from Noon-2pm and then I’ll head over to the West Sahara location from 2:30pm-4:30pm. In between the bands that will be playing, people will be able to come check out the video… AND I’ll be giving out Google Cardboard headsets (while supplies last) to people who buy An Unseen Sky (or the You Heard Us Back When compilation CD). More details can be found here: http://www.ziarecords.com/c/1660/record-store-day-2015

I am so psyched about all of this and I really hope to see YOU at one of the above events. I’m also hoping to do a regular album release party which will be another chance to check out the VR video for yourself… Or you could always go get yourself a Google Cardboard headset (they’re super cheap or you can make one yourself with instructions found easily online), or if you’re really crazy, go grab an Oculus Rift. I want one. Maybe if I sell a bunch of copies of An Unseen Sky….

– David

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