Today sees the launch of global collective Miro Shot and their debut single, "Leaders In A Long Lost World" along with its accompanying music video, courtesy of AllPoints/Believe. The genre-bending track carefully weaves together a variety of textures, from orchestral movements to delicate synths, all layered atop a bed of pulsating electronic beats. Do not be thrown off from them releasing a single and assume that Miro Shot is a band that just calls themselves a collective to sound cool. One quick glance at the video and you'll see that there is much more to this than just music from the erratic nature of the dazzling visuals that showcase the essence of their live performance as the compilation demonstrates the open source mixed media collaborative ethos at the heart of Miro Shot.
Music is merely the nexus to centralize the group of artists, graphic designers, and coders who flesh out the current roster of the collective and focus them on their primary objective. For the video specifically, the full scope of the collective was utilized, including award-winning VR filmmaker Nicole McDonald, VFX supervisor Haz Dullul, artist and roboticist Charles Aweida, and graphic novelist Oliver Harud. At the helm of the collective is frontman and de-facto leader Roman Rappak. Speaking exclusively with Some Kind of Awesome, Rappak shared the collective's origins, his optimistic outlook that technology will have on our future, and Miro Shot’s aforementioned primary objective.
In 2017, the early members of the collective located a space for them to collaborate in Dalston, which acted as a “lab” of sorts as Rappak would refer to it. It was a place where they could tinker on multiple levels. They developed the early versions of their app for their immersive VR experience, test AR and VR ideas, and also work on music. Feeling eager to put their efforts to the test, they applied for and were awarded a grant by the Dutch government. As Rappak explained, “[The Dutch government] is really into AR/VR events. And we said [to them], “Look, we’re gonna put on a concert that’s like a different take on a normal music show.” In May of that year, Miro Shot premiered a VR show at the Centre for Contemporary Art in Amsterdam. The performance lasted around 8 minutes and the band played to roughly 10 people. As luck would have it, BBC happened to be in attendance. As they would later describe the performance,
“The band became graphic versions of themselves before the audience was suddenly flying over an empty landscape and then a giant blue head of a woman emerged.
The show is designed to appeal to every sense: Electric fans wafted specially-concocted fragrances over the audience. Some people were quicker than others to work out that the event is 360 degrees: It's a good idea to look up or down and turn to see what's behind you.”
After the debut performance, a major visual effects company reached out to offer their services and they began to work on writing more music. “Suddenly we’re in Macedonia recording an orchestra,” Rappak recounted, “Then we were having to learn Cinema 4D and all these different tools that we hadn’t used before.” Since then, the band has continued to perfect their immersive VR show at various locations in Amsterdam, Paris, and London, ranging from galleries, cinemas, theaters, and even squats.
Miro Shot’s focus on technology comes from the collective’s notion that technology makes things better, or in this case specifically, how technology can enhance your appreciation for music. While the public majority views the ever-rapid technological advances as the means to the demise of humankind, Rappak has a more optimistic approach to the onslaught of breakthroughs. “It isn't because there is “too much technology” or because human beings are lazy or evil,” he explained, “It’s because tech is so new and so powerful. We are adjusting to a new world that is being built around us. As much as your phone has more computing power than the computers that sent rockets to the moon, it is incredibly primitive compared to what’s ahead. Not only is it primitive, it is badly designed, it is bad for your eyes and your world view. But every day it improves.”
As we discussed the inspiration that informed his personal contributions to the music portion of Miro Shot, obvious renowned shows like Mr. Robot and everyone’s favorite techno-paranoia Twilight Zone rework Black Mirror came up. These are not the kinds of futurism-centric art that Rappak gravitates to. “I actually don’t like science fiction that’s really kind of… ‘light saber-y’ *laughs*.” In his mind, these futuristic worlds that are clearly a different timeline from our own make us feel inherently bad about our present because that particular future is essentially unattainable. “I actually like [science fiction] things that feel like they can happen,” he gushed, “Because that’s more optimistic and makes me think, ‘Maybe we’re not fucked!’”
Which leads us to the purpose of the collective’s existence. “War, poverty, pollution are not there because someone evil decided to ruin our day - they are organisational problems,” Rappak explained, “Problems that really well-made technology can help us fix.” As ambitious at it may sound, Miro Shot aims to be a catalyst for impactful change on society by leveraging their network and pool of resources to present a window into a world that could be. They understand that it’s unrealistic to assume they can do it all themselves, but recognize that by showcasing the future’s potential for greatness on a smaller scale, they have the opportunity to inspire action in someone else.
They're literally acting as leaders in our long lost world.
Miro Shot does not end at the current collaborators that worked on the the variety of multimedia elements that one can currently experience, but eagerly encourages newcomers to sign up to be part of the collective on their website. Pre-today’s public launch the collective has amassed around 450 already (including yours truly). You can head to their website to sign up now.
You can also find the band on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.