From the new album 'One Hundred Billions Sparks', released 20 Sept.
Pre-order with tour tickets from Max Cooper's official store: MaxCooper.lnk.to/Hope
I’m excited to show you this new video project, the first preview of my new AV album coming out on the 20th of Sep this year. Every track on the album was created with a visual story in mind, and scored to that aesthetic and narrative. I then collaborated with different visual artists for each chapter. The album is called “one hundred billion sparks”, referring to the action of the hundred billion neurones which make us, us. And this single release is a chapter called “hope”.
Hope comes early in the story of one hundred billion sparks, when we’re looking at the molecular mechanisms which create our experience. I spent a long time chatting to the video creator, Thomas Vanz, about action potentials, and neuronal signal transmission, so that he could interpret the process using his visual systems. We linked the idea of hope, in a personal, human sense, to the journey every ion has to make across the neuronal membrane – an infinitesimal part of the most complex machine, with each particle striving for it’s destination, driven by the charge gradient across the membrane. It’s not biologically accurate of course, it’s an epic-scale dramatisation of a fundamental process that is making you aware of reading this right now. Once again, borrowing beautiful ideas from nature for my music video projects!
Musically, I attempted an honest rendering of hope. Our experience of the difficulties of real life, combined with our capacity to imagine something better. I tried to find a way to capture that feeling tonally. Music can be quite a blunt form of communication in some ways, but hopefully you can hear the message in there. That’s also why I kept the whole thing stripped back to only a few elements, and without much percussion or any detailing, in order to try and maintain the clarity of that simple message, which is so hard to put into words, but can be richly expressed with music.
One interesting thing to add is that this epic journey of the ion as part of neuronal action, is driven by electromagnetic forces, of which the force carrier is the virtual photon, or light. So it’s not just a name I chose to sound nice, we really are one hundred billion sparks.
ps special thanks to Thomas Nau for linking up this project collaboration, without which it never would have happened!
"Hope is a visual poem about the journey of a thought, with a scale transposition to the gigantic/cosmic, it tries to represent the brain's complexity and the birth of a feeling, as a charged particle travels through neuron and gives the power to create information and emotion.
It has been made using real shots of macroscopic chemical reactions, recorded with a 8k camera, with a 100mm macro lens, that turn the shooting into a microscopic observation and permitting to avoid CGI most of the time. Using this process allowed me to conceive the most complex figures possible, without getting rid of the natural beauty, and the extreme complexity of the neuronal system."