An improvised audio-visual piece exploring relationships between simple, generative loops to create an ever evolving environment.
produced by: Laurie Carter
Intention and inspiration
I approached this piece as a continuation of the work that I started last term where I was exploring phasing between multiple grids to create a form of complexity. This time around I wanted the visuals to have an sonic accompanyment but also limit myself to just one grid to see whether I could keep things interesting with such a limited and formal palette. I improvised a series of patterns on an analogue synthesizer before recording into Ableton Live and assigning each loop an audio channel. Then, when the audio is played back, the midi used to control various parameters within the DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) is converted into OSC and passed into OpenFrameworks to control the visual aspect of the piece. Therefore, through one gesture on the midi controller (in this case the APC40), both audio and visual are controlled simultaneously.
Again, Brian Eno was a great inspiration behind the piece, but this time because of the many generative audio-visual apps that he has created with Peter Chilvers http://www.generativemusic.com/. These apps allow users to engage in a very tactile and playful way, creating unique audio-visual pieces that can never be exactly replicated. Each time I performed this piece, a new result was generated and my aim is to build an interactive installation with the technology so that anyone, including multiple people at the same time, can create their own version of the piece.
After sufficient practice, I found the experience to be a very meditative one where I didn't need to be completely focused on the performance. Some of most interesting results I found were whilst looking back over videos that I didn't really remember recording rather than planning out which fader I would use before another. In the below image gallery, some of my initial sketches are there to demonstrate my early, more methodical, intentions but I soon became interested in ignoring a step-by-step approach and rather adopting a more free, improvised style.
The work of Ryoji Ikeda and William Basinski were of great influence to me for the piece. Basinski, in particular, is capable of creating extremely powerful work with such a limited palette, both sonically and visually, at his disposal. Rather than this being a hindrance, Basinski's skill is in allowing his pieces to unfold to the audience with great subtly, almost without their realising that the course is continually being altered. This, I believe, is what allows him to create such a sense of immersion.