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New apps allow music fans to interact with records

By Natasha Baker

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Musicians in the digital age are turning to apps to woo fans and also engage them in the creative process to create new music and art.

Apps featuring indie rock band Metric, pop sensation Lady Gaga and the late John Lennon were released last week that allow fans to re-mix tracks, create music-inspired art or access rare recordings.

Toronto-based Metric's new app, METRIC Synthetica, available on iOS devices, lets fans interact with music from the band's new album using finger gestures to re-mix tunes and create their own music. Fans can toggle different instruments and speed up and slow down tracks, creating more of a conversation with the band.

"Music in the modern day is about a lot more than just the music itself," said James Shaw, the lead singer of Metric and producer of the album.

"In the late 70s and 80s it was just about the record and that was it. But now it's about being engaged in all sorts of different mediums," he added.

Shaw said he is eager to hear the creations that others will make with his music.

"Our version will always be there. But now you can break a song down according to your own imagination and it brings depth and allows people's imaginations to go into what the record is about and get a greater understanding of what they're listening to," he said.

The app is free and includes one song to re-mix. Each additional song costs 99 cents or $7.99 for 11 songs.

With Lady Gaga's free app, ARTPOP, for iOS and Android, fans can create and share animated graphics and interact with each other. The app is a companion to Gaga's latest album of the same name.

Another new app, John Lennon: The Bermuda Tapes, follows the former Beatle's trip to Bermuda in 1980 to record his Double Fantasy album through audio and photographs. The app, which costs $4.99 and is available for iOS devices, features music and stories from Lennon and his widow, Yoko Ono.

Other apps released by artists include Rework, a collaboration between Philip Glass and American musician Beck, Beyonce Live at Roseland, both available on iOS and Android devices, and Bjork: Biophilia for iOS devices.

(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Philip Barbara)

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