Moses Sumney has released a unique live performance of “Bless Me.” The track is off the artist’s double-album græ. In partnership with Microsoft, the video merges a live performance with abstract 3D animation using Microsoft Azure Kinect — all from his home in Asheville, North Carolina.
Before the pandemic, the plan was to do a museum installation using Kinect. He says it was to be “an experiential piece exploring isolation and solitude,” an idea that became even more meaningful with the global health pandemic but also impossible to pull off as something music fans would need to experience in person.
Under stay-at-home orders, he and his creative team reworked the idea. To create this experimental video Moses Sumney partnered with frequent collaborator, artist and director Sam Cannon to create a striking digital performance. While socially distancing and separated across the nation, Cannon directed Moses’ actions and angles over Skype, while his movements were captured using the Azure Kinect. As he moved to the song, the Azure Kinect sensors tracked his body in real time, capturing it as skeleton data. This precise point cloud and skeletal-movement data, captured utilizing the AI-powered Body Tracking SDK — which look like little dots — gave him 3D positions in space that represent depth. An RGB camera is a part of the sensor and is integral to depth, mapping color to those points and adding textures that wouldn’t normally show up in two-dimensional productions.
This collaboration with Moses Sumney is an example of Microsoft’s partnerships with the people, organizations and causes who share the passion for applying technology to achieve their goals, revolutionize their fan experiences, and influence our culture—across music, art, fashion, sports, and beyond. For more information, visit microsoft.com/inculture.