In the electronic music industry, and more specifically in the entertainment field, it is becoming a growing requirement to match live musical performances with dedicated visual environments. Through projections, mapping, led-walls, a new sphere of audience perception has been explored, with the aim of creating an even more transversal and immersive customer experience.
Within their discipline, audio-visual artists have always tried to combine sound and images. The main reason was to create a 'total work of art', with the aim of conveying to the viewer an experience that is as immersive and evocative as possible. Another goal was to overcome the lack of visual feedback in electronic music performances, by transmitting visually to the audience, through the projection of videos, all the "implicit elements in the process of creating one's own music. These are, among others: 1) the use of graphic correspondences linked to sound and interaction parameters, an "interconnection between sound and image, which occasionally becomes evident and at other times remains intuitive", and 2) the projection to the audience of the code generated by musical performers using programming techniques to produce sound, a practice known as "live coding".
An interesting interview with Robert Henke, a German computer music artist working in the field of audiovisual installations and co-founder of the music production software Ableton Live, was published a few years ago. Using computer-generated sounds and, more recently, images from instruments and algorithms he himself developed, Robert Henke explores the uncertain boundaries between musical performance, sound art, audio-visual performance and installation, focusing on the creation and exploration of sensory spaces. At one point in his interview, talking about visuals, he makes an interesting analogy between clubs/venue and art galleries: "I see a lot more similarities between galleries and clubs than most people can see on the surface. They are all spaces where people come together and experience something different from what they experience on the street... in all cases there is one goal. I really like spaces where the set-up requires a certain kind of perception."
A thought from around 7 years ago that is very relevant today, especially in the last year and a half where several artists are opening up to the world of the metaverse and NFTs. One example among all is Afterlife, the Tale Of Us label, and more specifically Anyma, Matteo Milleri's new alias project, which is envisioned to unravel in an utopian future. The artist created a series of 11 pieces, each of which is combined with a live show, plus a clip to which an NFT is associated, with a digital certificate of ownership, purchasable by collectors. As you can see, the analogy expressed by Henke was not so far from reality...
We, as Recall, have always wanted to explore and include the visual side within the events and projects we follow. From the very first interaction with our audience, we have tried to capture the client's eye through specially created visual mappings, and then went to a higher level of production in various editions of 'Recall moments'. Regarding 'moments', there were two editions that were particularly impressive on the visual side: Corgiat's sonification of a deteriorated and restored early 20th century film and the audiovisual performance by the duo Project-To, in which visual modulations were generated from sound and radio waves in the environment.
Additionally, for our event on the Island of San Servolo during the last Venice Film Festival, we relied heavily on visual installations, first and foremost the one in collaboration with GIGA Design Studio in Milan, who created a virtual environment with animated characters that moved following the rhythms and dynamics of the artists' DJ sets.
It seems like line between music and visuals is getting thinner...