Live visuals for music continue to mature – not because of any new technology so much as because of improving technique, more refined sensibilities, and closer collaboration between music and visuals.

We’ve talked a lot about projection mapping. What’s encouraging is that the use of mapping, apart from being mere gimmick, is becoming a means to an end, a way of putting an aesthetic stamp on a performance and heightening the sense of immersion. Mapping is a way of manipulating the projection surface, as it should be, a way of amplifying the content.

It’s good enough that musicians are taking notice, too. So, with apologies to our friends the good folks of Percussion Lab, I’m going to blatantly plagiarize your blog post, because you’ve got exceptional stuff no one should miss.
On the Visual Tip

Brian Blessinger writes the post there and selects the videos I’ve added here. If you’re unfamiliar with Percussion Lab, their curated selection of mixes is a taste-making beacon for the musical world, as are their Monday night radiocasts (tune in tonight, NYC time, to Radio23. It’s a must-visit site:
http://percussionlab.com/

It’s worth visiting each of the works he mentions, as part of the trend toward greater immersion and tighter integration between sound, image, and space.

Top:

mind warping video projection mapping collaboration on a sculptural screen designed by artist Kris D with video mapping content designed by Integrated Visions Productions’ Bryan and Michelle Dodson.

Kris D: Screen Design and Fabrication
Bryan Dodson: Animation, Fabrication, and Editing
Michelle Dodson: Animation and Fabrication
Adam Barfield: Musical Score

krisd.net/​
integratedvisions.net/​

(Documentation on the process of this video follows below).

From rectangles to spiral horns, Gabbatron 2011 produced a different kind of projection surface, above:

Built for the Kazimier Records Launch this was used for the Dogshow set. the horn measures 2m wide x 4m long and is video mapped using Modul8.

And lastly, for a festival’s worth of material, L.E.V. from last year:

Sábado 1 de Mayo del 2010. Gijón

Signal, Plaid, Shackleton, Scuba, Ben Frost, Aufgang, AntiVj+Murkof, Kangding Ray, Jorge Haro

El retrato de un festival y sus diferentes facetas. Sin palabras, solo imágenes y sonido para transmitir las sensaciones, la atmósfera… dos intensos días de un evento musical y visual.

Portrait of a festival and its various facets. No words, just pictures and sound to convey the feelings, the atmosphere … two days of musical and visual event.

Finally, here’s something not in the Percussion Lab post but I think appropriate to mention:

Chi Ka’s work, under the name Imagima (and Visualicious) is strikingly sculptural. She works with 3d-printed pyramids and rich, abstract visuals, and has used the open source environment Pure Data (Pd), as well as researching this kind of technique as part of her studies at NYU’s ITP program.

  • http://www.blairneal.com Blair Neal

    I'm starting my first real projection mapping piece and it's really nice to see some behind the scenes documentation…it gives me hope that I'm not doing it totally wrong, haha. If my methods take an hour or more to calibrate and the projector gets bumped and I have to do it all over I feel like I might be doing stuff that relies to heavily on a "render" step than a more fluid live step. I'm looking forward to the days when we don't have to have everything locked down in position…I'm sure stuff like the kinect will help in that regard.

    It seems that we're still at that stage of everyone figuring out their own tools and methods for mapping…there are a few great contributors to the cause but for a lot of people's methods it feels like a trade secret or something. I feel like I've missed it if there's a really good community for troubleshooting these kinds of projects…even knowing more about the behind the scenes process or some step by step directions on how people achieved a certain effect could be really helpful to people who might not have the same abilities.