Since 2012, I've become part of a creative collective called Born digital, including many talented individuals involved in the production of art, installations, visuals, music & educational programs.
One of the collective's specialties is the visualisation of music, which happens to be my own passion as well. We usually make visuals for all sorts of musical acts, from live producers with fixed sets or DJ's that just play whatever comes up in the moment, to a band with live players.
In the last past years I started working more and more with live (classical) musicians that were looking for new ways to have the audience experience their music. I've had a lot of fun, and learned much from my sessions with Radio Kootwijk Live. This is also where I met Erik Bosgraaf. A few years later he contacted me for some visual work in an installation with his music (Shri Yantra) and soon after we did a show in de Toonzaal (Den Bosch). It was a great opportunity where Erik, who is a classical musician, would dive into the realm of improvisation and his music would be sampled and rearranged by Jorrit Tamminga in real-time. From previous experiences with making live visuals with improvising musicians, I've found that the VJ-tools I usually work with, that are perfect for most concert & shows, didn't give me the freedom to react to the music in a suitably tangible way. So, joined with my beloved partner & VJ Machinka and the Born Digital studios, we developed a visual tool in VVVV that would be tangible enough to trigger my animations in different sizes and colors, where and when I wanted. Controlled with the Wii-nunchuk, this added another advantage: no screen! I didn't have to look at a computer screen, iPad or even keyboard. I could instantly control everything while looking at what was going on in space and keeping in contact with the musician. This was another crucial obstacle when improvising with musicians while being behind a laptop; everytime you need to do something, you have to look at your laptop or controller and lose contact with what's going on around you.
I must admit that our first choice probably would have been an iPad with the touch OSC, because of past experiences. But due to a burglary in our home, resulting in the loss of both our iPads while we were in the developing stage of this tool, we decided to use a Wii controller that we already had. I'm really happy, for it brings many new possibilities and advantages we plan on exploring in the future!
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