“Rome” is an album by Danger Mouse aka Brian Burton and Italian composer Daniele Luppi. Danger Mouse is best known for his production work and his collaborative projects “Gnarls Barkley” and “Broken Bells”, but he has been working on Rome since 2005 and they finally put it out last year. They worked with Jack White and Norah Jones on some songs and it really turned out quite nice, but Rome is supposed to be more than a music album. Danger Mouse wants it to become the crossmedia story of “Temple”, a girl surviving in a postapocalyptic world and dreaming of a better future.
Whatever becomes of that project in the end, they already put out an amazing interactive music video game last year, which I stumbled upon while researching and wanted to share with you. Based on “Black”, a song from the album featuring Norah Jones, director and multimedia artist Chris Milk made a visual, interactive and social experience called 3 Dreams of Black, representing a dream Temple is supposed to be having. It starts out as a music video, turns into 2D drawings you can actively watch by moving the mouse, and ends up being a 3D graphics landscape you can influence and compose yourself, sharing your designs with others and thereby turning Temple’s dream into a socially shared one.
Those kinds of projects are expensive and technologically cutting edge, but Danger Mouse and Daniele Luppi had some help by Google’s Chrome Experiment team, who were eager to present the possibilities HTML5 and WebGL offer to developers and end users. The video/game is therefore only playable using Chrome, but it works easy and fast without any plug-ins or extensions. Don’t forget to explore the landscape after your first run through the video and perhaps add something of your own. If you can’t or don’t want to play the game, here is at least the song for you.