Turning 60 and celebrating 25 years as a solo performer, Sting has done what no other musician has done before — he made an “appumentary” for the iPad. The Apple Inc app is the first to capture an artist's body of work, performances, interviews and biographical memorabilia and put it on an electronic tablet. The Sting 25 app is free from the App Store on iPad.
“It's the first of a kind,” the singer said at the Apple Store on Manhattan's Upper West Side on Monday night. “Today is my digital re-birth. The app is a model for future delivery of music,” he said, before playing his haunting song “Fragile,” which he dedicated to Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, who died last month. “I'm sorry he's not here, since he shaped all our futures,” Sting said of the man who revolutionized how people listen to music, through the iPod.
Taking his life into the digital forum with an iPad app
The British-born bassist and composer for the rock band The Police launched a solo career a quarter-century ago, and the Sting 25 app coincides with a new box set, “Sting:25 Years.” “This app encompasses my entire solo career. It's a scrapbook for the digital age,” he said. “I felt like an archaeologist in a way, going through years and years of material, excavating these pieces of history, to put together the box set. “We initially considered some sort of documentary, but the idea developed into something much more compelling and dynamic,” he said.
Described as “an appumentary” by Apple, the app explores Sting's solo career, including his musical influences and environmental activism. There are photos, handwritten lyrics and journal entries, interviews and even 360-degree images of his instruments, including his battered old bass guitar. There is also concert footage, including from his 60th birthday celebration last month in New York, with performances by Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder and a dynamic duet with Lady Gaga of “King of Pain.”
“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.”