Mamma Mia, here we go again! ABBA are back!

ABBA Digital - (Credit - Industrial Light & Magic) ABBA Digital - (Credit: Industrial Light & Magic)

In what can only be described as one of the most iconic comebacks in pop culture, ABBA have reunited for a revolutionary concert and brand new studio album.

But this is about much more than just a new album. Prepare to be plunged headfirst into a virtual ABBA of 1979. How does this work?!

Benny Andersson described the creation of the album, explaining, “First it was just two songs and then we said, well, maybe we should do a few others, what do you say girls, and they said yeah, and then I asked them, well why don’t we do a whole album?”

ABBA Digital - (Industrial Light & Magic)

ABBA Digital – Photo: Industrial Light & Magic

Dancing Queens, rejoice!

Voyage is a 10-track album with a release date of 5th November. The Swedish group have also announced a revolutionary concert experience of the same name, in London in May 2022.

“A new album, after 40 years… it is absolutely incredible.” Björn Ulvaeus

Björn explained, “It’s inconceivable to be where we are. No imagination could dream up that; to release a new album after 40 years and still be the best of friends, and still be enjoying each other’s company, and have a total loyalty… who has experienced that? Nobody.”

Two of the songs from the album, ‘I Still Have Faith In You’ and ‘Don’t Shut Me Down’, have already been released.

Don't Shut Me Down - Single Artwork

Don’t Shut Me Down – Single Artwork

Super Troupers, it’s time for a concert!

A statement from ABBA said: ”We simply call it ‘Voyage’ and we’re truly sailing in uncharted waters. With the help of our younger selves, we travel into the future. It’s not easy to explain, but then it hasn’t been done before.”

ABBA Arena - Illustration

ABBA Arena – Illustration

Ben Morris from Industrial Light & Magic – the company behind the production of the concert, explained the process behind it.

“People have often talked about whether you can create either people who have lived in the past, or people when they were younger, and we actually create ABBA in their prime, 1979. We are creating them as digital characters.

“…we actually create ABBA in their prime, 1979. We are creating them as digital characters.”

“We will then be using performance capture techniques to animate them and perform them and make them look perfectly real. And that stuff starts first of all with the present day ABBA.  We did some performance capture on them and that’s formed the basis for the whole of the project, the backbone.”

How did they do this?

Ludvig Andersson, ABBA Voyage producer says, “Agnetha, Frida, Benny, and Björn got on a stage in front of 160 cameras, and almost as many VFX geniuses. And they performed every song in this show to perfection over five weeks, capturing every mannerism, every emotion, the soul of their beings. That becomes the great magic of this endeavour – that when you see this show, it is not a version of, or a copy of, or four people pretending to be ABBA. It is actually them.”

ABBA Mo Cap Suits - (Credit: Baillie Walsh)

ABBA Mo Cap Suits – Photo: Baillie Walsh

To understand a bit more about how this is going to work, Benny and Bjorn explain in this little video…

 

www.abbavoyage.com

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