Project Description

Phases at MUTEK Montréal 2023

Brett Bolton distilled years of experimental work into the debut of his latest solo performance at this year’s MUTEK Montréal.

At MUTEK Montréal this past August, Audiovisual Artist Brett Bolton presented his new performance, Phases. Developed from a series of AV experiments over the last few years, the project explores the various phases of matter, gradually transforming screen visuals into solid, liquid, gaseous, and plasma states with a drum and XY controller.

During the performance, every drum hit and touchpad gesture had an immediate musical and visual reaction that constantly changed based on each change in the state of matter. Both music and visuals were created 100% in real-time without timelines or click tracks, allowing each performance to be unique and spontaneous.

Using his own constantly evolving methodology, Bolton combined many kinds of software and interactive equipment, such as Notch, Cinema 4D, Sensory Percussion, MIDI drums, and an Erae Touch MIDI controller to piece his favourite experiments together and create a larger show. He used Notch for clones, particles, procedurals, fields, modifiers, and post-effects.

Bolton said of the project, “I like having limitations, so building everything around the four states of matter really gave me focus and even helped define my setlist. It made the experience more intuitive and fun.”

He had demo Notch setups created for most of these looks beforehand but decided to rebuild everything to keep it as optimised and cohesive as possible. The show received overwhelming acclaim and will expand to more cities in the near future.

“As always, Notch helped me go through a lot of ideas quickly. I love how easy it is to change what’s on-screen to match different musical ideas. Notch also responds to my drum hits and XY movements in real-time, so I don’t have to be locked to a timeline when I play live.”

Brett Bolton, Audiovisual Artist

Additional press coverage:
Tourisme Montréal, MUTEK.

Audiovisual Artist: Brett Bolton

Photos: Jérémie Gerhardt & MUTEK | Bruno Aiello Destombes