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#5 Artist Interview: Eric Raynaud aka Fraction

MadMapper: Tell us about your project, ENTROPIA?

Eric Raynaud aka Fraction: The project initially started with my research on ambisonics sound in residency at SAT (Montreal) at the end of 2014. I wanted to develop a way to smoothly perform electronic music in a sound field larger than regular stereo using SAT’s world unique satosphere.

I was interested in ambisonics that drove me working on softwares like Iannix and max msp connected to live Ableton. At the end of my research, I really wanted to create a new audio visual performance. As you may know, ambisonics is a full sphere technique for sound spatialisation. It is a more natural way to move sound sources into the sound field.

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While I was thinking of the visual as a part of my piece, it made a sense to me to keep this spheric approach and think of an object placed in the middle of the scenography. I really wanted to create a new physical experience with light instead of only visual projection.

Then, I asked to Louis Philippe St-Arnault to work with me on this project. He was the one who conceptualized and built a full customized LED sphere. After that, the idea expended to make an entire immersive and heavy sensorial experience by sound. Visual part was oscillating between sphere interaction with sound with a 360° visuals projection. Aurelien Lafargue aka Nature Graphique and Guillaume Bourassa aka Creation Ex Nihilo  who joined us to help creating contents for the project at the end of this creative journey.

ENTROPIA, 2015
Entropia is an immersive audio visual performance. It aims to create an immersive scape made of interconnected layers of medias. It’s based on an audio reactive geodesic led filled sphere that keeps a constant interaction with immersive visuals projection, and is synchronized to the sound.

Sound artist stands inside the sphere while visual team performs real time pixels mapping and generative visuals. Audience is placed in the interstice created by the duality of physical light of the sphere and external walls projection, filled by cutting-edge sonic material, and specialized using 3D real time programming.

Credits

  • Concept, Ambisonics Programming and Music: Fraction
  • Sphere Conception, Visuals direction: Louis Philippe St-Arnault
  • Sphere and Visuals: Aurelien Lafargue aka Nature Graphique
  • Generative Visuals: Guillaume Bourassa

Software

  • Music : Max msp, Live Ableton, Iannix, Ircam Spat, Lemur
  • Sphere Visuals: Madmapper, Resolume
  • Visuals : Resolume, TouchDesigner

M: What do you listen when you are working?

E: Well, since my work is producing sound and music, I guess that answers to the question 😉 – But ok, when I do sketch or paper work, I like to listen to ecstatic music, something really repetitive that helps your brain to stabilize around idea. That could be ambiant, some weird, free jazz, experimental noise, or psychedelic electronic stuff.  

Louis Philippe St-Arnault: I often listen to the initial structural version of the piece to get inspired for storyboarding, then deep progressive, sometime melodic, sometime noise.  Electro when designing. Followed by poly-rhythmic and/or break beats while prototyping. Simply the essential sounds of machines and processes while installing. And get back to dark progressive but this time ambient and without clear motion dynamics while programming/mapping. Finally, continuously transforming tracks of the piece during the creation sessions.

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M: Any funny story or any challenging moment in this project?

E: The piece was challenging in term of collaboration. It was really about composing a full piece using different layer of media, working in different dimension with each media working within its own dimension. The sound was the link for writing the piece with all other medias (light/projections).

We had to build contrast and narration combining all medias, making choices, testing potential of one media instead of another at a precise moment. It’s actually an ongoing work, and we improve the piece each time we play it. Even for the sound/music, it’s quite possible that I will change few of them in the future what would involve to change choice of the visual for that precise moment. It’s actually like a domino game.  We worked as a team and rely on the sound to build the visual aspects of the piece.

The piece involves quite a lot of technology and the funny thing was Entropia eventually finished on a regular switch off that I triggered live by myself which all public could basically hear. I learnt from this experience that it did not matter how much technology used this project but artistic energy should be the most important part of this project.

In audiovisual creation, we are really focused on the technologic and design aspect especially at the very first stage of a project development. Sometimes, afterwards, there might be a risk to be overwhelmed by tech issues, and eventually consider a little less the necessity of creating strong emotion/energy for the public, however in my very own opinion that should remain the main objective of any piece of art. I think humbly that in that piece, we try to find a balanced the way in between using cool technology potential, and still transmit strong feelings.

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M: Why are you using MadMpper?

LP: For dynamic texture mapping of lighting structures like Entropia and some complex sculptural forms up to 20000 Artnet addresses fluidly controlled on a single machines. Thanks to MadMapper!

M: What do you like about MadMapper?

LP: I like the flexibility and simplicity of canvas work and addressing compare to other softwares I used previously. And it’s super intuitive! It took me only few minutes to get things to work at the first time. Plus, it’s Mac based! Now, I use all the time and fully enjoy the 3D surfaces and the variable communication protocol. I always migrate softwares for a specific issues on projects. I like simplicity and efficiency of the software and stick with it .Good ones, no ? ; )

M: Have you ever use our miniMAD?

LP: Not yet. Will try soon, I guess.

M: Any request to MadMapper?

LP: Flexible bezier curves adjustment for fixtures on the DMX mapping tools!

M: What’s next for you?

E: Developing the sphere fully modulable and new forms could fit in any venue in the future. Hopefully, I will have a chance to make an installation with our new forms in 2016. In term of new project, I am currently designing a new project that keep on exploring immersive art relying on interaction with surround sound physical light.

FRACTION | fraction@fractionmusic.com  | FB | Twitter

 All photos are taken by Sébastien Roy