Minimalism for its own sake isn’t terribly meaningful. But economical sound and geometries can become a medium for beautiful moments, if artists truly focus on form and relationship. It’s doubly true when combining music and visual elements, and that leads to some gorgeous intersections of the aural and optical in the work here.
Robert Lippok, the Berlin-born Raster-Noton artist, and Dimitri Delcourt, the Swiss designer and live visualist, collaborated in one of my favorite performances of last year’s Mapping Festival in Geneva, Switzerland. The data relationship between the two is simple – Robert jams live with Ableton’s Push hardware, and feeds tempo via MIDI clock to Dimitri to produce gliding, generative geometries. It’s the classical, oft-repeated setting – big projection rectangle, laptop. But if there’s no novelty in that frame, there is wonderful execution. That canvas can still work.
It’s a poor-quality recording, but for a better sense of how this works live, here’s a video with a mobile phone from the same performance, demonstrating av sync.
Here, Robert talks about how he works with Ableton Live 9. Amusingly, that is his real desk seen in all of the promo images for the product. But commercial synergy aside, there is something wonderful about seeing the tools people create resonate with people’s creativity. A lot of hard work goes into creating our software and hardware; sometimes, it actually does connect with musicians in beautiful ways.