Immersion 7 Feb 2008 Wrap-up
My first thought after (and during) this past Immersion at The Flea Pit, London – Where did all you people come from?! People were queued up in the hallway leading to the performance wing of The Pit for almost the entire night. It got so crowded that I had to stop videoing the event, people were in the way of my camera. We had to trust our laptop screen in the back while doing visuals because we couldn’t see past the crowd to the screens!
Of course, this is a good thing. Thanks to everyone who showed up! Your enthusiasm and energy makes these (free) events worthwhile.
I tried a new thing this time – making the audience do the visuals. I brought my 3 wiimotes and gave them out to the artistically-inclined, leaving them to create the visuals with just a little bit of direction from myself (mostly on using the wiimotes). You can see from the above video of the 1st set (a 7 -minute excerpt of the 30-minute set) that people got the hang of it fast, and had a good time. We started out jamming to SS_R and then segued into Gabriel Da Piaz, whom I really enjoyed. It started to get crowded…
Next up was the moody and brooding Grohs on audio, paired with the visuals of Marura, a combination of two young visual artists using the very tried-and-true, old-school visuals method of pointing a camera at a bowl of semi-transparent fluid and going wild. They added the digital twist of mixing that imagery in bespoke software, and layering in some hand-drawn animations. The end result is brilliantly analogue in feel, as if you’re watching an oil painter in their studio building up layers of paint and imagery on an ever-changing canvas.
The whole set was intense and drawn out like a desert flower blooming in the dark heat before dawn. Maybe I am being a tad too poetic, but I really liked it. The 3-minute excerpt I have here barely does their work justice:
Dr. Mo is a pro, I expected nothing less than that for his set, and that’s what we all got. He added the visual atmosphere to Con Brio, who is rapidly becoming one of my favorite live sonic acts with his ability to blend atmospheric sounds with lively beats that make me wish I lived in a city where dancing wasn’t such a sin.
Here is where the place became too crowded to film. I love it when that happens.
Afterwards, Suero brought the energy up a notch with his hot and dirty beats, and Neon matched him with some kinetic visuals:
Ending the night and bringing down this crowded house was Alex Mein Smith on audio with a diverse set blending a rash of sounds and styles, for a half-hour straight. I get the feeling he wasn’t completely happy with his set, but I’d take a half-hearted set from Alex over most people’s best outings. On the visuals, I tried an experimental combo of wiimotes and live 3D animation, and it glitched itself out and worked in mysteroious ways like any good experiment, but I liked how it went with Alex’s sound. Here’s a short pastiche of the set: