Paul McCartney mines virtual reality for ‘Pure McCartney’ release

Paul McCartney in his home studio preparing one of a half-dozen virtual reality experiences to support his forthcoming album, "Pure McCartney."
(MPL Communications)

Paul McCartney will bring fans into his world by way of virtual reality through a six-part series of VR experiences created to support the June 10 release of “Pure McCartney,” his new retrospective album surveying the music of his career after the Beatles disbanded.

The ex-Beatle has teamed with VR producer-publisher Jaunt  to create the segments that explore a handful of songs on the new album in a 360-degree video format.

The first two segments, for the songs “Dance Tonight” and “Coming Up”, are launching today with additional segments due May 31 for “My Valentine (Part 1),” June 7 for “My Valentine (Part 2),” June 10 (for “Mull of Kintyre”) and June 14 (“Early Days”).  

Paul McCartney's 'Dance Tonight' virtual reality tour

“Filmed in his private home studio, each experience allows fans to embark on a personal journey with Paul as he recounts memories and anecdotes while sharing archived and never before seen footage,” the statement says. “Paul is walking people through how these songs came to be and some of the emotions and personal experiences that led to the creation of the songs and the original music videos associated with them.”

The “Pure McCartney” VR segments will blend high-resolution video content with “digitally remastered and spatially oriented ambisonic audio mixed in Dolby Atmos,” the statement said. It will be accessible with the Jaunt VR app, which will be available in iOS, Android, Gear VR, Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Desktop 360 formats.

Paul McCartney's 'Coming Up' virtual reality tour

 “We used to see artists connect with their fans through album covers and liner notes,  but that personal expression, and deeper understanding of the music, has diminished over the years,” Jaunt Studios President Cliff Plumer said in a statement. “With virtual reality, Paul McCartney is taking the most innovative step yet; he’s connecting directly with his fans, to share his innermost thoughts and experiences, in an entirely new, personal and immersive way.”

McCartney has been involved in forward-thinking visual arenas for music almost since the beginning of his career, most notably with the Beatles’ career-changing performances on “The Ed Sullivan Show” in February 1964, their first feature film, “A Hard Day’s Night,” and the experimental music film “Magical Mystery Tour” that he largely directed.

Even a project for which the Beatles simply gave their approval, the  1968 “Yellow Submarine” movie, became a groundbreaking example of the evolving art of film animation.

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