Black Zenith live at Substation, Singapore 2011

Microsaccades is a work by Black Zenith for analogue modular synthesizers and moving images which uses dense sonic textures to generate live visuals through the transformation of sound into image.

Black Zenith is focused on researching the intersecting points between electroacoustic music, improvisation and experimental video art. Integral to their research is the interface of these elements during live performance. This practice-based research investigates the symbiotic relationship between sound and image through aiming to manifest the interactive elements of improvisation both visually and aurally.

A saccade is a fast movement of the eye, or it can also be a fast shift in frequency of an emitted signal or other quick change. Saccades are quick, simultaneous movements of both eyes in the same direction. Initiated by eye fields in the frontal and parietal lobes of the brain, saccades serve as a mechanism for fixation, rapid eye movement and the fast phase of optokinetic nystagmus (a form of involuntary eye movement). "Microsaccades" exploits the properties produced by bombarding the audience with analog visual patterns and shifting video fields. The visualizations are produced in real time, with the flickering images being created by directly responding to the influence of frequencies applied to the video's Red, Green and Blue components. It utilizes a device that transforms the analog audio signals into a video signal, creating a mapping of sounds which modulate each of the primary color channels of the video signal.


Black Zenith is Brian O’Reilly & Darren Moore. The duo performs using analog modular synthesizers & moving images. They produce dense sonic textures that generate live visuals through the transformation of audio signals into images. Black Zenith draws as much influence from noise music & the electroacoustic music tradition as they do from the foundations of abstract video art.

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