Project Description

Potential Energy

Brett Bolton creates a real-time audiovisual installation using Notch and Ableton for LDI’s SPLNTR 2019.

Potential Energy is an interactive audiovisual instrument and environment created for SPLNTR 2019. The installation uses proximity and depth sensors to affect projected visuals and audio in real-time. As participants walk through three different zones of Potential Energy, their movements break open the walls around them in many interesting, intuitive, and musical ways. All three zones together create a continually evolving piece of music based on the interactions simultaneously happening in each zone.

TouchDesigner is the hub for all of the interactions and logic. It translates motion data into MIDI and OSC signals which are fed into Ableton and Notch to create the audio and visuals. Ableton Live was used to generate the music in real-time based on the positions of the people in the space. Notch was used for the creation and rendering of the projected visuals. Brett ran three different blocks in real-time on three different servers, all receiving OSC signals from TD. Potential Energy is an ongoing and evolving piece that has only been shown at SPLNTR in Las Vegas so far.

“I can’t imagine a better way to create visuals that respond to people’s movements and music in real-time than in Notch. As people walk into the different zones of Potential Energy they see the portals open up, hear the music start to change, and quickly realize that they are in control of their experience. It wouldn’t take long for them to approach the portals and start “playing” the music in each zone with their friends.”

Brett Bolton, freelance audio-visual designer

Additional press coverage:
TPI Magazine

Production Company: NEICO
Production Design: Ed Shaw
Creative Direction: Brett Bolton
Notch and Sound Designer: Brett Bolton
Equipment Vendor: Avolites, Notch, Group One, AG & X-Laser
Media Server: Avolites Q3s (3)