Many of us imagine visuals when we close our eyes and listen to music. Here are two devices you can drop directly into Ableton Live to make that happen – from an artist whose work weaves together visual and sonic realms.
Iranian-born, Armenia-based composer and music and media artist Arash Azadi has built his own body of evocative work that explores imagined topographies of sound and image. (We put out one on our Establishment project – see below.)
What’s special about these devices is you can connect to his imagination – and let these inventions interpret your music live, too. One works with generative visuals, and one with a camera.
Sonic Geometry is a reactive visual generator that spits out gorgeous abstract imagery in response to your sound input. It’s a minimalistic mathematical sacred sonic geometrical trip.
It’s also a great example of Max’s power to allow people to build on one another’s work and create variations. Sonic Geometry began its life as Sound Particles by Kevin Kripper, and Arash took it in another direction. That’s long been a part of music composition (see cantus firmus tradition for one example); patches and code in these environments make it easier in the medium of software.
Here’s how to use it, step by step:
If camera input is more your speed, look to Body Glitch, which uses live video as input instead of sound.
Come for the Max for Live Devices, stay for the experimental releases? Arash has been prolific lately across a variety of great projects; here are some of the most recent.
His new Structure Experience serves as a platform for artists around Armenia, across the full electroacoustic and electronic spectrum, through-composed and improvised.
That includes Totem and the Fears:
The EP is a sonic pilgrimage of the soul liberating itself from the mind. Through repetitive phrases and circular rhythms, Azadi and Marutian create hypnotic soundscapes to open the windows of listener’s subconscious. The recording is the outcome of a fully improvised set at Azadi’s studio. This is the first time that Arash Azadi appears as the pianist on a record.
Marut Marutian: electric guitar and pedals.
Video by: Karen Khachaturov Photography
There’s the side project Marginal Twilight, which marked the occasion of the Persian new year already disrupted by quarantine and lockdowns – a solitary new beginning:
In these times that we all are separated from each other and in fear of death, it’s good to realize that nature is becoming new and spring is bringing life to earth. Even now we can choose to celebrate life and Nowruz the Persian New Year (the New Day) through music and dance.
It’s earlier work, but I’m still quite fond of Arash’s Geosonic Journeys for us – and people slowly keep discovering its aural landscapes:
All the best to all our readers and my friends in Iran and Armenia and around the world. We’re listening. And I miss a lot of you.