One of the highlights of the games-as-art focused Joue le Jeu (Play Along) exhibition, currently on view at La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris, is Electricity Comes From Other Planets, a delightful audiovisual music remixing installation from Fred & Company (Fred Deakin and Nat Hunter). The project offers visitors a chance to become composers and musicians, collaborating with friends and strangers on creating a soundtrack by triggering different tracks of music as they move through the space.
The non-linear music composition, composed by Deakin with music producer James Bulley, is broken up into eight different tracks laid out on the floor of the Gaîté’s mezzanine. Each track represents a different instrument—piano, strings, drums, bass, etc.—and is further broken up into colored squares corresponding with different stems of music, varying from simple to complex. As visitors move down the track, jumping from one square to the next, they trigger one of these unique musical stems, and the more people that participate, the more robust and vibrant the sound becomes. Mixing in the air, it creates a beautiful cacophony as visitors hop-scotch their way around the installation.
Fred Deakin tweaks the music composition on site at La Gaîté Lyrique.
Each track also comes with a corresponding “planet,” an abstract sculpture that’s projection-mapped with vibrant abstract animations each time a visitor moves to a new square. Created by programmer and animator Marek Bereza, this visual element transforms the space, adding an air of magic, as visitors can both see and hear their movements being reflected in audiovisual feedback.
A concept rendering of the “planets”.
Bereza wrote custom software to map these audio-responsive “planets.” Here he is mapping the sculptures on site.
Catch Electricity Comes From Other Planets and Joue le Jeu through August 12 at La Gaîté Lyrique.