NOTE: This project has audio, click on the live view to start.
l.o (pronounced el-dot-oh) is a series of audiovisual vignettes exploring a process at the heart of generative art and ambient music: creating complex forms by repeating and transforming a simple input. Inspired by starling murmurations, the repetition of a line, dot, or ring forms a flock of flickering particles rippling across the canvas. Interconnected audio and visual patterns create a mesmerizing display of echoes and modulations. As the sound expands and contracts, so do the areas of visual density, revealing ephemeral shapes and structures. Sounds become visible. Visuals become audible.
Within the sonic component, filters and echoes manipulate a sustained chord until subtle melodies and rhythmic structures appear, resulting in a hypnotic and evolving soundscape unfolding from an elementary source. The signal path relies solely on bespoke code built using Web Audio, including an implementation of an early computer music algorithm called Karplus-Strong which utilizes tuned delay lines to simulate the physics of stringed instruments. The audio effect design is also inspired by the magical warmth of vintage analog equipment like tape loop echo units. This analog quality found its way into the visual style: the low frame rate gives the project a hand animated feel reminiscent of stop motion.
On our last album, Still, we questioned the repetitive experience of pedestrian life, attempting to invoke wonder in the constantly evolving nature of our world, even in moments of perceived stillness. l.o expands this line of inquiry, inviting the audience to appreciate the compounding complexity surfacing from a succession of small shifts within a fixed pattern. As the series builds, various directions of color, shape, tone and tempo are unveiled.
Alongside works like Flux by Owen Moore, or montreal friend scale by Amon Tobin, the project explores core questions about the audiovisual medium: can it be more than visuals in the service of sound, or sound in the service of visuals? How can the synthesis of the two media create a richer whole? While the sound of Flux reacts to visual data, and montreal friend scale is a literal visual representation of a sonic concept, l.o features a two-way dialogue between sound and visuals. The two are interconnected through 9 different paths, including a key relationship where filter frequency modulates flock density (more details available in the AV section of the project’s website). This audiovisual conversation offers a unique encounter between generative visual art and abstract electronic music, two vibrant spaces that share a common thread.
Key controls are available to explore the different components building the final sound:
- Press ‘0’ to turn off all effects and hear the initial sustained chord
- Press ‘1’ to toggle back on / off the amplitude modulation (can sound subtle in certain outputs)
- Press ‘2’ to toggle back on / off the filtering effects
- Press ‘3’ to toggle back on / off the echo based effects
- Press ‘Space’ to pause / resume the piece
After pressing ‘0’, pressing successively ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘3’ will bring the piece back to the original audio setup.
Learn more at https://l.o.night-sea.com/
Based in Northern California, Night Sea is a French-American musical duo exploring the spectrum between ambient, dub and techno since 2016. Their compositional process centers modular synthesis and randomized audio tools as a means to invite the unexpected. They performed live at MUTEK San Francisco in 2018, and, after a couple EPs, they released their first full-length album "Still" on the Canadian label Silent Season in 2020. Alongside their music work, they are exploring the hypnotic and meditative audiovisual space through creative coding and generative art. Night Sea is a collaboration between Johan Ismael and David Grunzweig. Johan is an electronic musician, graphics engineer and generative artist who previously released "Steps" on Art Blocks. David works as an audio algorithm designer and electronic music producer. https://linktr.ee/nightsea
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10% of the proceeds from primary sales will be split evenly between two charities via Endaoment. The first one is the Surfrider Foundation which fights for clean and accessible oceans. The second one is the American Indian College Fund, an organization providing scholarships to Native Americans.