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Behind-The-Scenes Notes for My 2010-2015 Dark Sci-Fi Techno Show + 2013 Cover of Daft Punk”Derezzed” (Mile High Edit)

What follows is a rather detailed journal of my 2010-2015 Dark Sci-Fi Techno Show.

What Motivated Me to Write this Post…

While I was working on a playlist for the upcoming Rocky Mountain Synthesizer Meetup 7th Birthday Party at Tilt Arcade I thought about Tron which made me think about a cover I’d done back in 2013 of the song “Derezzed” by Daft Punk.

My cover of “Derezzed” (Mile High Edit) was really an illustration of the show concept I designed and performed from 2010-2015. While that show was performed with all original music I also thought it would be fun to do a cover with the same show design – because – well I love Daft Punk. So let’s start with that…

Video “Derezzed” Cover (Mile High Edit)

I re-sequenced the song from scratch (no samples for the original were used). I performed the music and visuals live in a single take with no edits.

My rig at the time was Ableton Live, Percussa AudioCubes, Moog Etherwave Theremin Plus, and Tenori-On sending MIDI notes to an Ableton Rack with VSTs. I used the Machine to control the arrangement in Ableton on-the-fly and to live sequencing the parts I wasn’t playing live as well trigger clips in Live to automate changes in Resolume. The AudioCubes were used to trigger and control effects through gestures, as well as add 4 more dimensions of gestural control for effects for the Theremin. I used the Tenori-on to improvise a lead :^) More on all this below…

Background & Show Design

I created the show concept in support of my original alien invasion sci-fi theme concept albums Reboot, I Hear Your Signals, and – at the time – the forthcoming Fear Cannot Save Us.

Note: These albums are available on Spotify, Apple Music and most other outlets. The albums are free “name your price” on Bandcamp.

My design goal was to have the audience more easily relate to what I was doing with a complex and abstract rig by incorporating controllers that offered real-time visual feedback. This would allow them to correlate what I was doing with what they were hearing from the speakers. As the show evolved I amplified this further with projected visuals with real-time FX using only live camera input.

Visually the show design was a inspired in part by Tron, and John Carpenter’s “They Live”. I also used additional lighting to create shadows inspired by German expressionism films like “The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari“.

Here is an example of a live performance. More videos from shows at the bottom of the post.

Mark Mosher Performing “New Heart Beating” Live at Electro-Music Asheville 2014 Festival

Rig

Here is a rundown of how it all worked.

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(Modulate This) Artist News Industry News Midi/USB Keyboards & Controllers

Kanye West plays ‘Stronger’ at the Grammys with Surprise Appearance by Daft Punk Playing JazzMutant Lemurs

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(Daft Punk’s official post-Grammy press photo from http://www.brooklynvegan.com/archives/2008/02/daft_punk_serio.html)

I just finished watching the 50th Annual Grammy awards. One of the highlights for me was Kanye West’s performance of ‘Stronger’ with special guest appearance by Daft Punk. According to First for Music News, "This was the French duo’s first-ever television appearance in their 14-year history."

What were those fantastic touch-screen controllers they were using? Well they were JazzMutant Lemur’s and they were being used to trigger samples and synths. If you want to learn more about how Daft Punk uses Ableton Live to maniluplate samples and produce music checkout this interview with Thomas Bangalter.

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Learn more about the Lemur at  http://www.jazzmutant.com/, but be prepared for sticker shock as the Lemur goes for about $3,300 US.

Mark Mosher
www.modulatethis.com
www.markmoshermusic.com