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.