''Sting's (iPad) Book of Life - @Radical.Media and Sting launch a new iPad-only app that celebrates - and shows-off - his career'' reports Creativity...

November 15, 2011

"I'm not led by market forces or what is hip," said Sting to music journalist Anthony DeCurtis during a presentation at a special launch event at the Apple Store Monday on New York's Upper West Side.

And yet, the sixty-year-old rockstar was discussing the debut of something that could only be described as hip: Sting 25, an iPad-only app that celebrates his 25-year career as a solo artist.

Created by New York-based media company @radical.media, Sting 25 is a dynamic, multi-dimensional product that easily can be described as the Book of his Life. What it does is tells a story, said James Spindler, chief creative officer at @radical.media and one of the visionaries behind the project.

The story is told through six organizational principles - time, albums, influences, activisim, collaborations and geography - that have guided Sting's career. Using a pasteboard layout, users can navigate through the different principles and find audio commentary, concert footage, music videos, original sketches, lyrics, photos, tracks and even the instruments that all had a part to play in the last 25 years of Sting's life.

The project, which took somewhere between six and seven months to complete, is the start of a whole new type of music documentary, said Spindler, whose company is no stranger to music docs, having produced the Grammy-winning Concert for George, Metallica Some Kind of Monster, Jay-Z's Fade to Black and a more recent MTV documentary for Lady Gaga, among others.

But this effort, however, posed tech challenges like no other. The hardest part, said Spindler, was the multi-layered technology behind the app. For example, as you navigate through albums, the app recognizes what tracks you may already have on your iPad. Then, it fills in the blanks and tells you which ones you don't have -- and how you can buy them, on iTunes of course. The app also connects to Apple TV and can provide a dual-screen experience that lets you browse the app while watching footage, all on an HD TV.

All of which made Sting the perfect artist to launch this app in collaboration with, said Spindler. An app this robust needs an artist who has done it all and done it everywhere. This just wouldn't work with anyone else.

In conversation with DeCurtis, Sting said he used to buy albums and pore over liner covers. That kind of connection with the artist has now gone missing in this era of cloud-based digital music. "This is my modern way of going back," he said.

The app is free, something Sting wanted. The concert footage from Sting's 60th birthday concert, for example, is not available anywhere else. There is no movie, or television showcase for it. This is the only place fans can get it, and he wanted them to get it for nothing. Other than, of course, the price of an iPad.

And for @radical.media, this is just the beginning. The company is poised to announce a similar, larger project with a big name sometime in the next few months. No details about who it is, but it is a living star, and an "expensive one." And the collaboration with Apple will continue because "they like working with us," said Spindler.

Sting, for one, seems to be adjusting to digital quite easily. He surprised guests at the event with a performance of two tracks: 1987's "Fragile," which he dedicated to Steve Jobs, and "Message in a Bottle," which he said he is considering renaming to "Message in a Tablet."

(c) Creativity by Shareen Pathak

Were you there: Leave a comment!
posted by Wyattch
iPad app
The sound doesn't work in any of the videos. Hope it gets an update to this problem.
posted by Wyattch
25 years iPad app
Just downloaded it. Beautiful and rich graphics, but no sound on any of the videos or in the music library. Hopefully it's a quick fix as I would love to hear the concerts and interviews. I know my ipad2 is working since other apps and sites play sound just fine.
posted by Kimberly1967
What a lovely tribute from one visionary to another. Sting, so glad you are making yourself so accessible to your devoted fans. Rock steady!
posted by abamda
Thanks for this, it is so great...I'm in heaven!
posted by mbeliot
Once again, Sting.com came through for me in a terrific way, with entry to last night's launch of Sting's iPad appumentary at Westside Apple Store. What a thrill to get a) a seat; and b) let in BEFORE the others who were there for the event. You've been very good to me this year, and I appreciate so much the chance to get to attend this exciting event. As the song goes - "My friends are so jealous..."! Now - I just have to wish for an iPad so that I can watch all this incredible stuff! Thanks again!
posted by sher
Not Fair, lol
Yes I want the footage of the Birthday Bash, i was there, but to only make it available on an iPad is not fair! Make if available for the iPod Touch and iPhone would be a better bet if he wants us to have "something for free"
Newer comments    1 - 6 of 6    Older comments


Nov 14, 2011
Sting, in partnership with global transmedia company @radical.media, has launched STING 25. The expansive, dynamic app for iPad explores the life, music and activism of one of the world's most influential musicians. With unparalleled access to seminal performances, rare photos and personal stories, the comprehensive app depicts the past 25 years of Sting's career as a renowned musician and humanitarian. "This 'appumentary' harnesses the display and Multi-Touch capabilities of iPad to tell a much richer story than you could using a single medium," said Justin Wilkes, the app's Executive Producer. "The narrative behind Sting's journey as a songwriter and a solo artist is as layered as this app, which is why he was the perfect subject to collaborate with for this new approach to storytelling."
Nov 13, 2011
Enter to win tickets for Sting's Back to Bass tour! On November 16, Sting will perform at the Verizon Theatre in Grand Prairie, TX and we're giving away a pair of tickets to two randomly selected fans.