Since 2017, we performed in Berlin at Griessmuehle, in London at the New River Studio, and in Paris at La Station Gare des Mines, La Maison des Métallos, as well as Les Instants Chavirés. We also had the honor to play at the French research center for acoustics sounds IRCAM, at the Sonic Drawing Festival, at Nuit Blanche in 2020, and were programmed at Antigel festival in Geneva (cancel due to the covid restrictions).
Furthermore, we are currently in residency at Mains d’Oeuvres in order to develop our project Forest Lab, that we’re about to present you today.
Elek Ember has always evolved around music and visual arts. In the project ‘Forest Lab’, we are inspired by science and spirituality, both influencing our different main projects: live performances and interactive audio-visual installations.
Following Vilèm Flusser’s philosophical theory ‘camera obscura’, we developed a concept about the experience of revealing reality through the production of images. Programming digital visuals, we want to question the audience’s interpretation of the border between the visible and invisible world.
To explore those different perceptions, we’re using high technology or low tech.
Moon Sap Music Concept
Following this concept, we decided to collect scientifical datas in order to produce organic sound and use them in our live performances and installations.
In order to create a dialogue between Art, Science and Nature, we research on the link between humanity, and the cosmo-telluric world of trees.
The « green tide » phenomenon, revealed by the Swiss naturalist Ernst Zürcher, proves the influence of the lunar cycles on the variations of water within trees, similar to the tidal movement of the oceans.
The travel and volume of the plant fluid, based on the attraction of the moon, plays a role in the growth of the tree and the emergence of its buds.
We invite spectators to experience this phenomenon and allow them to feel the healing potential of trees.
Thanks to the scientific Bruno Moulia, working at the french laboratory INRAE, we were able to use sounds from the movement of the sap within the tree. Based on those samples, we are generating some specific sequencies, arranged to play on our synthesizers.
Digital technologies allow us to generate in real time interactions between videos and immersive sound installations. We generate dream-like images of forests and translate the sounds emitted by the trees.
A/V Live at Nuit Blanche
Thanks to our collaboration with a laboratory specialised in plant physiology, we have integrated the sounds produced by the movement and retention of sap in the trees into to our musical set. These percussive sounds were translate in quadriphonics sequences, used to distort the visual images. The audience can experience the waves of the « green tide », controlled by the rhythm of live music, as if they were listening to the alchemy of trees.
We would like to increase the sensitive experience by creating a 360° A/V live or installation. Using four wide screens and a quadriphonic audio equipment, we want to immerse the public in a transcendent environment.
The performers would play in the middle of the public to create more intimacy.
Another alternative would be to imagine an online VR experience, using the Web XR API.
Related to the ‘Forest Lab’ project, this installation develops a more shamanic and spiritual approach. The concept is to create a 10 to 20 m2 structure called Oghamber.
Oghams is an old Celtic alphabet where each letters represents a tree, a sound and a spiritual energy. We would like to invite people to pull the suspended objects in the room in order to answer some personal questions through the listening of a form of oracle.
On the technical aspect, each Ogham will be connected to a weight sensor. The intensity of the resistance will then be sent to a microcontroller, and transfer through an ethernet cable to a computer.
As the current pandemic pushes us to rethink the concept of venues, we would like to experiment different forms of concert, playing in unusual and natural places. Our goal is to perform live improvisation in the middle of a forest and be directly inspired by the environment surrounding us.
This philosophy of being closer to the nature and shamanic culture drives us to use more low tech and thus developpe a more sustainable/ecological concept.
To realise this performance, we will use some external batteries to power our synthesizers and some cameras. Using a 360° video angle, we can stream this live online as a VR experience, using XR Web API.