This is a track and video from the Emergence AV project. The story as a whole visualises natural laws and their emergent properties of the observable universe and it’s timeline through planets, life, humans and society. This particular chapter of the story is an abstracted visualisation and sonification of the importance of cycles in this system.
We are surrounded by cycles, in our days, seasons, behaviours, growth and decay, birth and death, cell cycles, maddening cyclic thought processes and obsessive repetition, the cycles in neural networks which form the basis of our awareness, the repetition of almost all things, and their impermanence.
This idea is captured musically with a simple arpeggiating riff and looped musical structure that only builds without deviating from it’s repetition. And a visualisation of the complexity that can arise from nested cycles of different forms, each interacting with all others.
Craig (Numbercult) specialises in building generative visual systems which are programmed to react to the different elements of the track, as well as being controlled live. I asked him if he could create a system full of different cycles, each mapped to the different audio elements, many of which are layered in the piece of music, and in parallel, in the video. The result is this final live rendition of Cyclic, with all of it’s complex interlinking geometries representing the complex web of interacting cycles in the real world. I love how it sometimes seems to create 3-dimensional objects and recognisable forms, in amongst the chaos!
Some words from Craig about his process of creating the video -
"The original concept was to build an animation around the track ‘Cyclic’. The track has powerful layers of complex percussion which producing a building mechanistic intensity. This is counterbalanced with melodic weightiness and a sense of scale, which evolves in waves across the piece. Max pushed the design to include a shift from 2d to 3d, and I conceived of a mechanistic structure that becomes part a sort of (futurist inspired) clockwork solar system (based on the orrery).
Rather have a conventional linear narrative or ‘journey’ I liked the idea of the Schrodingers multiverse. Working on that principle, multiple unique versions of the original system were developed by first duplicating the original solar system multiple times. Each solar system then developed independently; they contain their own behaviours, geometries and relationships, yet all occupy the same space and share a common aesthetic.
The music guides the narrative as we journey between all the overlapping solar systems, the journey is between dimensions rather than across space which I thought fitted nicely with the ideas expressed in the music: deepening but retaining a common hypnotic template. Each of the solar systems is generative; the whole project is recorded in real-time with no post production. Each recording is entirely unique guided only by the rules that govern each component system and its response via FFT analysis and directly from midi triggers and clock"