Still riding high on the heels of his critically-lauded, doubly-eponymous album, Bon Iver this week kicked off a new interactive project in conjunction with popular music streaming service Spotify and social-networking site Indaba Music. Yesterday, the stem files to all ten songs on Bon Iver, Bon Iver were released on the site for fans to download and remix.
Now, you might often see the term “stems” thrown around the music blog world with hardly any explanation, so here’s a crash course for those who aren’t studio geeks: when an album is recorded, it’s typically done in pieces at a time – just the guitar, just the drums, just the vocals. Those pieces are then mixed together, and a “stem” is a WAV audio file containing one of those pieces.
So if you’re game to partake in this contest, you create an Indaba membership and download your stems here, and then get cracking on your remix in the audio program of your choice (GarageBand, etc.). It could be something as simple a giving “Perth” less synthesizer and more drums. It could mean making an a capella version of “Holocyne.” Or it could mean taking “Calgary,” cutting it into bits, and rearranging it over some original deep-vibe tracks of your own.
The sky is really the limit, but the deadline for submitting your remix is Aug. 29. Fan voting begins on the 30th, and top ten vote-getters winners recieve cash prizes. Even if you aren’t a finalist, it’s a great opportunity to market your remixing skill just in time for Bon Iver’s show at the Mann Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 16. Good luck!