“The digital revolution of the last decade has unleashed creativity and talent in an unprecedented way, with unlimited opportunities,” writes Swedish documentary filmmakers, David Dworsky and Victor Köhler, when describing their 2011 SXSW debut film Press, Pause, Play
; documenting the technological shift recently allowing a creative democracy in music. Although, the overall message of the film is quite bleak as they point to the mediocrity that more access to creation and freedom of distribution creates.
Press, Pause, Play
‘s message of mediocrity is one that musical hardware device maker of this year’s SXSW, Miselu
, plans to overcome . Miselu presented their first prototype, neiro, this year at SXSW for an early debut of what is to come from the company. Miselu’s seeks to “innovate products to create the next generation of musical experiences,” according to their statement on their website. They rather feel, this new generation of musical creation is a positive step of progress to bring music to everyone’s fingertips; thus a move towards more choice, different choice and new opportunities of ‘enchantment,’ as well as, an openness to interpretations of the art that is music.
Miselu’s CEO, Yoshi Yoshikawa , is no stranger to the bold face of entreprenuership. Miselu is his third company, the first in consumer electronics. Yoshikawa is originally Japanese and moved to the Valley in the 90s hungry to build. By his calm and friendly disposition it is sometimes hard to describe him as bold, but his actions prove him so. I mean, Miselu is as new and bold as it gets; in the new world of content creation freedom, in a industry that is rapidly changing to a world of new young talents, and first to the scene. Yes, that is bold.
“With a passionate team of entrepreneurs, musicians, designers and engineers in Silicon Valley, Miselu is actively collaborating with artists, content and app developers, social network services and technology manufacturers to unveil the Miselu “neiro,” it’s first net-enabled musical instrument with wide-multitouch display” to the masses, explains marketing director Malte Goesche. “The idea was to build something that ‘shows’ and ‘enchants,'” which is, in fact, what the Japanese word Miselu translates as.
“Since music is the one thing that everyone loves, the company started to focus on ideas in that field with the goal to entirely change the way music is experienced. Neiro is the first example of that mission with much much, more to come,” explains a delighted Goesche.
Goesche got me intrigued with Miselu’s grand vision so I couldn’t help but ask him for a quick interview on the product:
Tell us about presenting the product early at SXSW?
Malte: It was great to finally show something publicly. We loved the idea of showing an early concept device at SXSW, because we wanted honest feedback. Everyone was very intrigued and we certainly raised expectations, which will motivate us to do a great job in the coming weeks and months.
A very ballsy move. Any good stories from the event?
Malte: SXSW had a photo finish for us. Luckily, we did get the prototypes ready in the nick of time; and it also survived the hundreds of hands that played with it and the overall chaotic event that SXSW is. We can honestly say that it couldn’t have gone better for us with the phenomenal response we got from artists, press and potential partners.
What are your next moves?
Malte: We still have lots to do. The feedback we got will help us iterate and next time we show, we will have an even bigger impact and better product.
Who are the prominent early adopters of Miselu?
Malte: There are quite a few artists that like the concept and would like to be part of the development. We hope to start working more closely with them in the coming weeks.
(I did get some top secret names on this one from Miselu’s director of software, Keisuke Shingu, but I can assure you these DJ’s don’t disappoint)
The grander vision: Do you see a major change in the music industry? Will user creation and thus a democracy change the way we consume music?
Malte: The music industry as a whole has been changing and moving quickly in the last few years offering many great opportunities. We are here to be part of that movement and help making music creation, distribution and consumption easier, more mobile and user friendly.
(I think I speak for many when I say, we are ready.)
If Miselu was a person, what would be your characteristics?
Malte: Disruptive, open and transparent, social, active, insomniac, positively aggressive.