Twitter brings New Media student on stage with Imogen Heap
Thanks to Twitter, I (Janice Wong – cellist and New Media student at the UvA) was given a great opportunity to perform on stage at Melkweg, Amsterdam last night with my idol: UK Grammy award winner Imogen Heap.
Imogen Heap feat Janice Wong on cello – Earth (Imogen and Janice only)
Imogen Heap feat Janice Wong on cello – Aha! (with full band)
Imogen Heap, an avid Twitter user with currently 1,489,043 followers says she uses social media to connect with her fans, to “break up the distance”. Imogen does not only use Twitter to broadcast information, she uses it actively to interact and involve her fans in her life, which she says “can be quite insular (while on tour)”.
At this year’s 52nd Annual Grammy awards, she was awarded Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical and accepted her award in her “Twitdress”, which displayed a live Twitter feed and a transparent handbag with an embedded iPhone displaying Twitpic photos that fans sent to her via Twitter.
Earlier this year, Imogen held cello auditions in the North America/Australia/Asia legs of the tour to perform the song “Aha!” with her. 2 or 3 days prior to each show, she tweeted audition times, where cellists would register and perform on VOKLE, a live interactive broadcasting platform (watch Imogen Heap Cello Auditions on YouTube). At the time I saw Imogen Heap perform in Melbourne, at this point in time I did not use Twitter, which I believe would have led me to know about the auditions sooner than I did.
As midyear approached, I followed Imogen while she continued to experiment with social media and tweeted about the choir auditions on YouTube to perform the song “Earth” with her in her upcoming North American tour.
And then, Imogen tweeted about touring Europe in November. It seemed too much of a coincidence that Imogen Heap was to perform in Amsterdam, just shortly after I moved here to study New Media. She was to play in Melkweg, one of Amsterdam’s most popular music venues. Eager to use this opportunity, I made an audition video and tweeted Imogen about performing cello with her on stage. I shortly received an email to say that I was successful!
See below for my audition:
In conclusion, social media platforms such as Twitter and YouTube can bridge the gap between fans and their idols with amazing results, which now I have experienced first hand. I would like to thank Imogen Heap and her crew for giving me this opportunity and a fantastic evening to remember. And where to from here? I’m still not sure. But looking for more opportunities to perform in Amsterdam with local and international musicians. Get in touch with me if you know anything!
Read more about the performance and see some photos on my personal blog, The Wong Janice.