Making of Blood Sport – Live at Cafe Oto video

On 5th May Blood Sport released their latest LP, Live at Cafe Oto which, as the name suggests, is a live recording of a 40 minute set they did as part of their residency at Cafe Oto.

To coincide with its release Blood Sport asked me to create a one-take video. The video below shows track two from the LP, Melts Into.

I first met Blood Sport whilst doing visuals for them + Heavy Lifting at the AlgoMech closing party. The visuals for that night, and my visuals in general, tend to be quite visuals noisy and heavily saturated with colour and pattern.

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Under the guidance of Bloodsport I wanted to have each track of piece have its own unique identity. When working in programs like Blender or video editing software it can be quite easy to precisely time changes in visuals to music. If any mistakes, even minute ones, are made they can be rectified before rendering.

In a live setting having this amount of control becomes a lot more difficult and there’s no way to rectify mistakes at a later date. I can plan to cue certain effects but it’s still a constant case of responding to the music. In some ways the precise cueing and triggering of effects could be preprogrammed and automated, but this removes the live element of the live performance.

For this video I turned to my tool of choice, Pure Data. It’s a dataflow language, similar to vvvv, Max MSP, and Quartz Composer, that can be used for both music and visuals. I like it as the flow of data is visualised for you and it lends itself very well to live performances.

Within Pure Data I set up various elements, like the spinning cubes, the tunnel, feedback in the background etc and would trigger and manipulate them at certain times.

click to embiggen

As you can see the from screenshot of there’s a lot of controls and so I rely a lot on random number generators. This keeps things really interesting but can result in unpredictable results. Sometimes some of the over saturation and movement of objects is me scrambling to reset values but sometimes I like these accidents and so let it carry on.

I avoided using prerecorded video and made all of my own source textures and 3d models myself in Blender, Krita, Imagemagick and GIMP.

click to zoom and enhance

click for the biggening

The choice to work with still images instead of gifs or videos was inspired by some recent work I’ve seen from artists like Carrie Gates and Sam Mattacott. I liked how even with just one source image they can create a sense of movement.

For future work I’m going to be moving away from pure Pure Data slightly by incorporating OpenGL shaders which I think will give me a lot more flexibility.

The full 40 minute video will be made available at a later date. In the meantime you should buy their LP. They will be performing alongside Heavy Lifting at Supersonic Festival on June 16th.