REVIEW: Wilter's 'wilter.world / haven't been' AR Effect

26th August 2021

You may be new to the artist Wilter, but that’s all about to change. Based in LA, it’s hard to find any more information about him, as almost everywhere you go you are greeted by only the line “none of this was supposed to happen anyways”. Mysterious…. We’re intrigued. 

I came across Wilter (Will Durkee) through a collective of creatives called The Rattle, of which both Will and The Music Trip are a member. He shared this with the communal group - him from LA and us from London - and given our mutual interest in immersive technology, we simply had to give it a go. 

https://wilter.world/ is a web-based Augmented Reality application, powered by 8th Wall, that opens your phone camera and lets you place 3D trees and flowers in your environment - created by Wilter himself. But not just any trees and flowers! Attached to each tree is a line (both text and the vocal sample) of his 2nd single, “haven’t been”. Whilst the instrumental plays, you are able to place the lyrics and vocals in your environment at whatever speed you like. Tap really fast and you can have all the lyrics sung to you at once; or take your time, and place them at an order that feels right with you. You are the producer in this music experience and it's absolutely wonderful. 


 

Use of Music

A young musician with only 2 tracks to his name (both released in 2021), I was lucky enough to get hold of Wilter himself via Instagram. Clearly a creative and talented artist, he told me about the musical inspiration behind Wilter.World. “'haven't been' is based around a chopped up sample of a vocal line from the chorus of my first song 'solo/solong'” - and it lends itself perfectly to the experience, with the lo-fi bedroom style approach being the perfect backing track to this peaceful blend of digital and reality. By giving each line of the track its own space in the environment, and the user control over when they are sung and where they go, Wilter has provided an extraordinary way to draw people’s attention to what the song is really about, whilst physically giving them the power to be Wilter himself and play around with the ‘chopped up’ samples the track is based on.

Great / Good / Meh / Lame


 

Use of Tech

The use of augmented reality technology to promote the lyrics of the track was perfect. Through asking the viewer to tap the screen to ‘plant more trees and lyrics’ and play the vocal samples at their own pace, he’s inviting every single viewer to be the DJ and place his music and creations in their world. The trees appear wherever you want them to, detecting flat surfaces and blending seamlessly with each user’s environment viewed through the camera. The fact that each line of the track is beautifully written poetry keeps the user enraptured and engaged, tapping away to expose more and more. Before you know it, you’ve played all the lyrics (and they song might not even be over!) and have experienced Wilter’s track in a totally unique way: you’ve connected with the track, and with Wilter himself too, through technology. 

Great / Good / Meh / Lame

 

 

Innovation

There is no shortage of innovation here. Wilter built this effect himself, for only his 2nd ever release under that name. Without any experience in 3D modelling or Augmented Reality design, he wanted to create something for the listener that simulated his own approach to the music. “The song is extremely loop/ sample based and always felt like it's its own little sonic world to me, so I wanted to do something that allowed someone to bring that world into their own”. So what did he do? He created it himself. Pretty innovative if you ask me.

Great / Good / Meh / Lame


 

Degree of Success

Wilter is a new artist, with only 2 songs out, yet here we are writing a review about how much we love it… and we’re not the only ones! Whilst the effect hasn’t got him worldwide fame overnight, it has proved just how creative he really is. Considering he’s got less than 10 minutes of music released under the name Wilter, it's amazing how much bigger his brand feels. This interactive effect builts loyalty to him as an artist, and as a result I'll be keeping my ears out for what comes next. In that respect, it most definitely has been successful. And with 2,500 monthly listeners, we hope more people will get to see it soon.

Great / Good / Meh / Lame


 

All in all, a powerful use of Augmented Reality to extend his listener's experience of his music. Well done Wilter! We love it all.

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