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ABBA hopes to go one higher than Elvis and Michael Jackson with new immersive efficiency

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ABBA hopes to go one higher than Elvis and Michael Jackson with new immersive efficiency

Swedish music band ABBA, proven right here as wax figures, have offered over 400 million data worldwide.

Jonathan Nackstrand | Afp | Getty Images

Pop legends ABBA are taking an enormous punt on their newest immersive venture, founding member Bjorn Ulvaeus has instructed CNBC.

The much-anticipated immersive efficiency referred to as ABBA Voyage is billed as “a concert 40 years in the making,” and options digital avatars of the Swedish supergroup accompanied by a 10-piece dwell band.

Speaking in late April forward of its long-awaited world premiere in London, U.Okay., this week, Ulvaeus instructed CNBC it was “a hell of a risky project in so many ways.”

“The risk is, of course, that people won’t find it to be the experience that I think and hope it will be. That is the main thing. If people would go from the concert thinking, yeah, well, that wasn’t bad but … We want them to feel, you know, emotional and to feel that they’ve gone through something that they’ve never seen before.”  

Last album

The pop icon additionally confirmed to CNBC that the much-loved band’s 2021 chart-topping “Voyage” album – their first in 40 years — can be their final.

ABBA — Agnetha Faltskog, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad — launched onto the world stage after profitable the Eurovision Song Contest with “Waterloo” in 1974. 

The band has gone on to promote over 400 million data worldwide, and as soon as reportedly got here solely second to Volvo as certainly one of Sweden’s largest exports. 

It’s been 40 years for the reason that band final carried out collectively and Ulvaeus mentioned he was “nervous and thrilled.”

He mentioned he expects this week’s opening of the ABBA Voyage digital live performance to be “so incredibly special” and beat another second in his skilled life to this point.

In the newest episode of “The CNBC Conversation,” Ulvaeus says the concept first happened 5 years in the past — to create digital “ABBA-tar” copies of the band from their 1979 prime, in a cutting-edge expertise live performance.

He mentioned trials had been achieved earlier than with Michael Jackson and Elvis, however the workforce behind the expertise have been eager to make use of it with residing figures.

“It’s better to do it with someone who is still alive because your cranium, even though the rest of your body falls apart … the measurements in the cranium are the same, so it’s easier to recreate a younger copy of yourself if you’re still alive,” Ulvaeus mentioned.

To create the human-like avatars, the 4 members of the band, who at the moment are of their seventies, wearing movement seize fits and carried out the entire songs on stage in a specifically constructed studio in Stockholm, Sweden.

“They would dress us in kind of tight costumes, black with dots on them and there were dots on our faces, and we would have helmets. And then we’d go on that stage and we would perform a song almost as if we had performed it on ‘Top of the Pops,’ the old British [TV] program,” he mentioned.

“It was weird at first. I mean, I was looking around and there’s Agnetha doing her stuff, and Benny, just like the old days. But in the end, it was fun.”

Deep fakes

Ulvaeus mentioned the band have been main the best way with the expertise behind ABBA Voyage. 

“We are pioneers in this field, to make avatars, to build digital copies that are as human beings — to the pores, through the hairs in the nose, through everything [it] will make you feel after a while that this is a human being, this is not digital, this is a video of a human being, and it’s great fun to be the pioneer and to do it in this context,” he mentioned.

But the celebrated star mentioned he does fear about how the expertise may very well be misused by these desirous to create “deep fake.”

“I realized that it could be misused, and it will be misused. Not our avatars, but other avatars will be used as vehicles saying things that the original people don’t mean, fake, I mean, deep fake. Deep fake is going to be indistinguishable from the real thing going forward and that’s something we really have to watch out for,” he mentioned.

“But somebody was going to do it anyway, so I thought maybe to do it in a positive way as pioneers would be good to show how it can be used.”

A purpose-built “ABBA Arena” which may maintain a 3,000-strong viewers has been created within the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London.

The ABBA Voyage live performance performances open to the general public on May 27 and Ulvaeus instructed CNBC they’ll anticipate successful parade with a number of not so well-known songs, and a few from their newest album.

 

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