It's been a while since our last Project Showcase post, but now we are back with a stunning collaboration of audio and visual - mïus X Attaray. They will tell us more about the concepts behind their collaborative work, but let's start with their introduction!
The mïus X Attaray project started in 2015 when they created a new comprehensive audiovisual look together with Attaray visual for the release of the new album of mïus titled Eigengrau in the big hall of Toldi Cinema, Budapest, Hungary. It has been an ongoing collaboration ever since and the concepts created by the band leader, Gergely Álmos and Andrea Sztojánovits (Attaray visual) have been pioneering in the system connecting music and image.
As years went by white light became one of the most important visual cornerstones of the project, its ephemerality created more harmony between light and music. From 2019 the group started focusing on the spatial expansion of light, on creating the spatial sound-light organ. This helped the Naked Waves project to be born. They realized two concepts in which the main connection between music and visuals was the Vezér software.
The first clear sound-light concept was finalized by the group during the pandemic, which was recorded in the main hall of Toldi cinema, during the Études au Toldi live session which became the release of the new music album Études de Battements. The musicality of the album is based on the rhythm practices of different musical styles, therefore the connection of sound and visuality could reach a greater visual and musical depth, which was documented in the form of music sheets.
Based on the sheets they visualized the space-light layers tightly connected to musical and rhythmic layers in the space of Toldi. The moving light changes according to its nature, it appears and disappears, this creates its role parallelly with musical ephemerality. The light approaches the sensation triggered by sounds during musical performances.
The concept was creating a different kind of audiovisual space for each of the songs. The software system was Ableton for the sound part, Vezér and MadMapper for the visual part. Each song Ableton sent a MIDI note signal to the visual computer where Vezér received it. In Vezér we converted the audio layers into MIDI layers on the timeline, after it was modulated and the received signal from Ableton, it was connected in Vezér to the play button of the timeline. Vezér sent the edited MIDI controller signals to MadMapper where those modulated the parameters of the selected animations.
The first song was ‘Cédrus’, where we used 8 pieces of Astera Titan tubes (wireless LED strips which can be controlled by pixel). The tubes lay on the floor in a random arrangement. The animation to the pixel mapping of the tubes was built in MadMapper and the control signal came from Vezér. The signals controlled the light intensity modulations and the start and end point of the atmospheric projection.
The second song was ‘All Your Lives’ where we used projection as a lighting effect on smoke in space. In the projection there were points and lines and in Vezér, we converted the music layer into MIDI layers and those layers were controlled the parameters of the projected image (speed, thickness, and light intensity)
The third setting was ‘Five on the Floor’ where we did projection mapping on the columns of the space. It was an animation.
The fourth song was ‘Solar Samba’ where we used projection on smoke and light controlling on the Titan tubes. The system was similar to the second setting, the converted MIDI layers in Vezér controlled the intensity and parameters of the animations on the projected light and the tube lights. Each of the tubes was controlled by a MIDI layer of a different instrument or part of an instrument.
Please check the project's page for more information: https://miusxattaray.hu/2023/01/05/etudes-au-toldi-live-session-2021/
After the pandemic the group left the usual concert hall performances and started searching for new spaces and atmospheres. Leaving the world of clubs, the release of the newest album of mïus, titled How To was organized in front of 120 people in the industrial spaces of Art Quarter Budapest. They filled the space of the former brewery with sound and fog for a night, where light started a dialogue with analogue musicality as a plastic and geometric form. They created a hybrid combination of genres which pushes the mentality of a traditional concert towards audiovisual performance, live act and light art sound-space installation, hence the transition between installation and concert erases the borders between the spectator and the band. The concert installation was built specifically for the space, it was a 360 degrees creation of space musically and visually as well, where there was a fully discoverable sense of sound and light, which altered according to the location, it could be heard and seen.
At the concert, we used 8 projectors project on fog in the space. In addition to the projectors, the musicians were individually lightened with PAR lamps. We selected 11 tracks from the one-and-a-half-hour concert, in which, after converting the various audio tracks to MIDI, the Vezér controlled the parameters of the animations (speed, line thickness, amount of generated particles, etc.). In addition, the intensity of the flashing lights on the musicians were controlled by those MIDI tracks also, the lights flashed individually for each musician, according to the amplitude of their own sound (drums, bass, piano, synthesizer, vocals).
Please check the project's page for more information: https://miusxattaray.hu/2023/01/05/360-degree-sound-light-concert-how-to-album-release-aqb-2022/
Images courtesy of the artists.