This track and video are about emergence from the combination of polar opposites. Fragments of self from very different places, but part of the same whole. Soft vs jagged, quiet vs loud, beautiful vs horrible, smooth vs abrasive, natural vs unnatural....you get the idea.
Combining classical and computational elements is something I've been experimenting with for some years, but this attempt to combine the extreme opposites of each was spurred on by some chance DJing experiments, a fortuitous collaboration opportunity, and the amazing work of my friends Olafur Arnalds and Vaetxh (Rob Clouth). I found that I could mix the most beautiful and delicate piano solo of Olafur, with the most hyper-edited and jarring glitch of Vaetxh, and that the result actually worked, well, for me anyway, even if half the people in the club stood confused about how to dance. So when the opportunity arose to work with the pianist and composer Tom Hodge, I wanted to try and create this form of merger of extremes for a release, rather than it being confined to my DJ toolbox (also on the classical meets glitch history from a slightly different angle, check out "Rossz Csillag Alatt Született" from Venetian Snares 2005!).
After some discussion of ideas and approach with Tom, he sat and played and made some recordings for me, which I then chopped and build chords and structure around, sent them back to him to play over the top of again, and then back to me to edit and glitch the playing along with the nasty noises. My detailing process was that of finding some interesting sound sources (binaural recordings, drum hit samples, clangs and slams etc) and using some Max for live randomisation chains to generate lots of partially random complexity which I could then edit as audio before repeating the process with additional layers, eventually bringing the recorded piano audio in to the editing too.
At completion of the audio I was really happy to find out that Nick Cobby, one of my favourite video artists and long standing collaborator, was available and interested in working on the visual side of the project. He took the combination of seemingly incompatible opposites, and applied it visually with his beautiful generative forms, smooth and organic for the melodic sections, and jagged and abrasive for the percussive sections - big thanks to Nick for his amazing work as always!
So, that's probably enough ranting about this track from me, aside from why it is like it is, I hope it's something that you can enjoy irrespective of the conceptual faff.
More Max Cooper videos: youtube.com/user/maxbcooper
Video: Nick Cobby
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