Why are you making this CD-ROM?
Really through chance. While I was producing the new album, I had problems visualising "the images" from the novel by the same name by Arthur C. Clarke. A friend gave me the CD-ROM game "Myst", and it pleased me so much, that I bought the necessary equipment to create this kind of images myself. I was always interested in computer graphics and since I already knew something about 3-D-Design and the principles of construction I made pictures and projected them on a large screen. That helped to make music. Then I realised that it's possible to incorporate interactive software on a normal audio CD. Then I have worked together with two designers from the London multimedia company Balanda for the last four to five months on texturemapping. Worked on light sources and so. This is the way I got the idea to have something to look at on the CD-ROM, while I worked on the music.
Is it going to be a computer game or a science fiction story?
Neither. There can be certain elements of gameplay, but I consider it 3D-art. It's something to look at, to engage in.
When you recorded "Tubular Bells" twenty years ago, did you imagine that you would ever make something like this?
Well, I did after all produce a videoalbum so soon as in 1986. Then it was something totally new and was completely misunderstood. I gave a press party in London, to present it. Out of 300 invited journalists, only one showed up. He looked at the album and didn't at all know what to think about it. Of course it was very primitive, but it was a beginning. But I'm happy to have educated myself in this field. I have studied all of the software and I'm able to cut my own videos. I also know how to use a videocamera and how to work in a Blue-Screen-Room.
Will there be videocuts with the new album?
Oh yes. Tomorrow morning I receive new software for my computer. With it I can, for example, create a gravitational centre out of which different objects emerge. At the same time a rate is adjustable, at which different parts of an image falls back to this centre - in real time. I want to avoid the normal popvideo. I hate it. I don't understand why people are still doing them. I hate showbizz and love to be creative.
Why, in your opinion, is it that only well established popstars have turned to the theme of Multimedia. What happened to the Hiphoppers and Teckno's?
It's very expensive, to do multimedia. I guess the Prince-CD-ROM cost a million. For the production of my disc, I had to buy the equipment myself, which cost me around 100.000 dollar. But I see it as an investment in the future and as a creative personal tool. I must learn something, constantly.
But it's time consuming.
Yes, but I have the rest of my life to do it.
Aren't you going to make music also?
I've made enough music. I don't know how many albums - 17 or so. I have enough money, not to have to produce anymore. I can sit down for six months with a manual for some software, to learn how to use it.
But doesn't that mean the end of Mike Oldfield, the musician?
No, it means the beginning of Mike Oldfield, the multimedia-artist.
Mike Oldfield Tubular.net