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.
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.
Here is a rundown of how it all worked.