Imogen Heap has always been somewhat on the cutting edge of technology usage and research. Her Mi.Mu Gloves gesture controllers which she uses extensively and to great effect to control her Ableton Live based setup, plus her new Creative Passport - a system for the tracking and attribution creative input into digital media are both projects she has funded, and continues to do so.
In a series of Live Stream Events from her piano, she improvises, sings songs from her back catalogue and the occasional cover. These are a real tour de force of live improvisational intuition and demonstrate Imogen's talent for playing, technology live looping and just, musicality.
The last one I watch (ok not all of it) lasted 6hours, and many others are long too. OMG! you may think, but actually they are pretty compelling.
The purpose of these events are to raise funds during the COVID lockdown - remember no gigs or touring, which for many musicians are bread and butter. Imogen is aiming to keep the work going on the Creative Passport by raising at least £1k a week. People can continue via Youtube Super Chat feature, or more directly via this Go Fund Me page where you can also request a song to be dedicated for you, or commissions a cover version. Its a pretty cool way for direct artist interaction and way to create income. Imogen manages to make it seem benign and non-commercial only she can.
The technology she uses is also pretty cool, sitting at her grand piano, she has a Moog Piano Bar fitted for MIDI input into her Ableton Live system which she uses for real-time harmonies/vocoder on her mic. The Mi.Mu gloves are also used for effects, loop control and a bunch of stuff we don't quite understand.
The bottom line is that its a creative and cutting edge way for an artist to both make income and provide a unique user experience. Perhaps we'll more artists follow her lead.
Imogen Heap's Live Improv sessions are now weekly or sometimes twice a a week. The next is scheduled for 4th August at 8pm UK here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DYryK8QyQKI
GoFundMe Page for tips and song requests: https://www.gofundme.com/f/thecreativepassport-covid19-spotify
The Creative Passport Project: https://creativepassport.net/
Playlist of all past Live Improv Streams: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLbwEHNBipW0VzU-nWJAm3gEBrZpP877FO