The Spectacular, Strange Rise of Music Holograms
The Washington Post’s, David Rowell, talks in great detail about the overall evolving space, the competition, and Eyellusion’s significant contribution to the future of live touring shows. He spends time with Eyellusion’s CEO/Founder, Jeff Pezzuti, Ahmet Zappa, Wendy Dio, as well as Dio Band members Simon Wright and Scott Warren and Zappa’s Mike Keneally.
Then in 2012, Pezzuti, like millions of others, watched the Tupac hologram on YouTube. Immediately his mind began churning. “I started going down the list of rock artists” who could have a similar return, he said. A couple of years later, despite having little in the way of industry contacts but having done intense research and exploration on his own, he quit his job in finance to pursue his dream of creating musical holograms. He reached out to managers of artists who were dead or alive. “It wasn’t like I was going in with the solution, but I wanted to just talk about it and see if there was interest,” he said.
Wendy’s (Dio) motivation to partner with Pezzuti went beyond paying tribute to her husband. She saw the future of live music as revisiting the great artists and bands who started so long ago, since they were rapidly retiring or dying off. Sitting on a sofa at the Beverly Hilton, she argued that there had been so many important bands in rock, and that we didn’t have to let them go because they were no longer with us. “You don’t have another Led Zeppelin,” Wendy said. “You don’t have another Beatles. … You’re not going to have another Zappa, with his avant-gardeness and his craziness. All these people are icons.” Then she imagined what it would be to see the Beatles together again. “That’s not going to happen,” she said. “But in a hologram, it could happen.”
…And then, in the seconds after, the song winding to a close, the Dio hologram disappeared for the last time. The band gathered at the front of the stage, their arms around one another, and acknowledged the cheers. I thought it would have been cool to somehow have the hologram in the middle of that group, arm in arm, waving to the crowd. The fact that I even thought that — Why isn’t the hologram bowing with the others? — was, I supposed, my ultimate verdict on the show: It was real enough.
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