In the modern day of music, the way we experience and consume music has been evolving rapidly. With Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality and Artifical Intelligence already taking over the global markets, the use of music experince has started seeing some great innovation in India over the last few months. Live music all over the country has seen huge production and experiential value in both small and large scale events. Electronic music has indeed been a forerunner here.
Strange Movements is an all-original live AV showcase by Mumbai-based electronic music producer Spryk and visual artist Bigfat. Splicing various new media techniques, the duo have created a unique dance-floor experience that immerses its audience in a world of sound and light.
Srishti Das from Loudest recently spoke to the duo about Music and it’s integration with technology and sound.
Srishti: Projections have been a huge part of the electronic music experience over recent time. What are the efforts being put in to making this different?
Strange Movements: For starters, the Strange Movements project completely revolves around original content. We have created everything from the music to the visuals from scratch. Some of the visuals have been repurposed from outputs that we got when running certain audio stems through digital oscilloscopes and others were made on softwares like Cinema4D and After Effects. So there’s a lot of sampling and resampling involved in our process.
In terms of projections in specific, this is only our first tour with this project and we don’t want to be restricted to projections as a sole medium for our visual content. We plan to explore different setups and different sounds. It would be fair to say that we’re happy with where we are for our first A/V set, but we’re more excited about the future because we have a lot to learn and a lot more to explore. The good part about a project like this is that once you start, you only learn and improve more each time.
We also think visual art has always been integral to the consumption of new Music. Album art, the decor at a venue or festival, visuals on a projector or an LED screen. All of it adds another dimension to the experience. If one looks at the technology that drives a lot of performance-based content today such as Ableton, Resolume, Cycling74 there has been a huge drift towards the more open source approach and it has been to make collaborations such as ours more seamless. As part of the shows that we have already done, the hardware setups have all been slightly different from each other so it’s an ongoing process where we are still defining our choices. The eventual effort, however, comes from the creators that use these tools to present their body of work.
Srishti: What are the different kinds of techniques being used to make this a unique experience?
Strange Movements: Our show is all about the interdependency between music and visuals. They are both very powerful mediums which have been carefully designed for the experience specifically. We think the technique has little to do with making the experience unique. It’s rather the content we created that makes the experience unique. We did work on various methods of resampling each other’s work and finding new workflows to create stuff.
Srishti: Do you think it’s becoming more and more necessary for musicians to create bigger and better experiences to leave a mark in the minds of the consumers? What are your views on integrating technology with music experiences?
Strange Movements: It really depends on the artist I think. Musicians will always make music irrespective of the experience. The experience factor is now more powerful than ever because of the possibilities that are available across the internet and physical mediums.
Designing a lighting setup, custom visuals and unique setups are things that are far more accessible today than they were 10-15 years back. Personally, I am heavily driven by the use of technology in art. The power of technology has a tremendous impact on content, the presentation, marketing, distribution, promotion, all of it. Considering the amount of content that is being put out every single day, technology is definitely a superb tool to make yourself stand out. Moreover, we are now in a time and place where technology defines nearly every aspect of our lives.
As someone trying to create experiences and entertain an audience, I feel it is imperative to have a good grasp of the technology available to us.
Srishti: What are some of the new ways you see Visual artists engaging with musicians to create an experience. What are some things you would personally like to engage with.
Strange Movements: As a Graphic Designer and a Visual Artist, something that I think would be really interesting and fun to explore for with musicians is Typography. I think it has great potential to work as visual content; to mend and bend the rules of typography such that they appear as forms rather than lettering. This isn’t something we have explored yet, but we’re keeping our doors wide open to ideas for Strange Movements 2.0. We’re also working on a unique stage setup for the next round. So sometime around late 2018, we should be ready with another 60 minutes of all-original audio and visual content.
Srishti: Do you see Augmented Reality being used in music in India anytime soon?
Strange Movements: Augmented reality is a technology that’s being used for various purposes. Honestly, it is far from perfect and there are very few extremely functional use cases for AR in music just yet. We think that over the next two years we will better understand the use cases of AR. We have a feeling that AR will make a larger impact on the world of Gaming much before it’ll have an impact on Music and it’s consumption.
Strange Movements is currently on tour with Unmute. You can can catch them here: