A U R O R A

For Ben Frost’s fifth solo release A U R O R A a special lights & video show was created by Marcel Weber (MFO), produced by and premiered at Unsound Krakow, 16th October 2014.

A U R O R A aims directly, through its monolithic construction, at blinding luminescent alchemy; not with benign heavenly beauty but through decimating magnetic force.
Starved of all the adornments of its predecessor; wholly absent of guitar, of piano, of string instruments and natural wooden intimacy, A U R O R A offers a defiant new world of fiercely synthetic shapes and galactic interference, pummeling skins and pure metals.

Visually it comprises custom-built video scanners, an arsenal of strobes and projections that form a backdrop for an enthralling reality-distorting experience.
Atmospheric video-rays describe beams of tangible light, a spatial experience and subliminal wash over the audience, shaping a radiant architectures in prismatic colours. As a catalyst hyperactive stroboscopes are distributed all over the room, flashing mesmerizing patterns in complex orchestrations. During passages of receding musical intensity, light retreats to the stage and turns into projections of abstract imagery of hypnotic cosmic beauty.

PRESS ABOUT THE PROJECT

Interview with the creators project / vice (in german only).

PAST PERFORMANCES

16th Oct 2014 - Unsound Festival, Krakow, PL
24th April 2015 - Donaufestival, Krems, AT
30th April 2015 - Oval Space, London, UK
2nd May 2015 - L.E.V. Festival, Gijon, ES
20th June 2015 - The Hearn, Luminato / Unsound Toronto, CA
23rd Aug 2015 - Kraftwerk Mitte, Berlin Atonal, DE
20st Sept 2015 - Scopitone Festival, Nantes, FR
7th Nov 2015 - MIRA Festival, Barcelona, ES
22nd Dec 2015 - Teatro Maria Matos, Lisbon, PT
23rd Jan 2016 - Nemo, Paris, FR
21st May 2016 - Moogfestival, Raleigh, North Carolina, US

The album A U R O R A is of a supernatural quality, a radiant cosmic force. It is this quality I'm aiming to translate into a vivid spatial experience.
As a first step I developed a number of video clips, pure luminous structures and phenomena; a nucleus for an extensive show. In conversation with Ben Frost these clips and ideas got extended to a room-expanding live show, implemented with the setup mentioned above.

The custom built video-light scanners are essentially video projectors directed into the hazy room, right at the audience; thus creating tangible beams – an intense physical experience of light. By the use of remote-controlled movable mirrors these beams are directed further, allowing to shape spatial structures of light, like deconstructivist drawings in three dimensions. The impression is not unlike that of a laser show, but less harsh, less surgical or technical in appearance. It furthermore grants the creative freedom to add prismatic colours, halos, auras and chromatic aberrations, and to emit whole fields of light.

The rather elevated, atmospheric video-lights needed the extension of phrenetic stroboscopes; directed at the walls and sitting behind the architecture of the room, their indirect flashes feel perform a stark play of light & shadow, like a thunderstorm above a city's skyline. The strobes are played like a visual drum set, rarely continuously strobing, but instead pumping out single flashes. The orchestration of multiple individually operating strobes, distributed over the whole room, allows for a stunning, disorientating and room-bending effect to take place.

Additionally I wrote custom software to control all of these components live and from one central interface. The software had to be intuitive – no thinking inside computer windows! – ultimately it had to work like an instrument. Hence the VVVV patch runs entirely „in the background“, I only interact with it via a midi controller. –m