U.S.-based experimental music producer Alfred Darlington, operating under the name Daedelus, has developed a wall of moving mirrors that interacts with his audiovisual electronica set.
Archimedes features 36 large, moving mirrors, each controlled with two servo motors (one for the X axis and one for the Y axis). These have been programmed to carry out a variety of coordinated movements, but can still be controlled individually. These interact with short-throw projectors that shine video content, color and shape against the mirrors so you can see the image projected as well as the reflected surroundings in the surface. This is then complemented with dry ice, which means that the images are reflected into the room itself.
Darlington told Wired.co.uk: “Live electronic music is still in its infancy truly; years of pioneering efforts by groups like Kraftwerk, The Orb, Chemical Brothers have taken important formative steps defining what it means to be onstage, computer- or synthesizer-assisted. But only in the last 10 years have we really begun to both have tools in hand that allow the music to start transcending the computer and the visuals to break out of those previous paradigms of a rock light show, or rave cliché.”
He added: “My live show is mostly about auditory long shapes, slow inclines, melodic release and some noise-y climax. Archimedes allows for some very complementary motion, largely thanks to Emmanuel Biard’s deft control and striking visuals.”
‘The sync is not always perfect but I try my best.’
On a forum, Biard explains: “The sync is not always perfect but I try my best. Our reasoning behind this approach is that reactive systems tend to become stale very quickly and don’t respond to the energy or flow of a show, only to the user input; on the other hand, a human ‘processor’ can be unreliable when he’s not getting enough sleep.”
Why is it called Archimedes? He explains: “Much like my own namesake, Archimedes is named after an ancient Greek inventor, famed for his use of the reflected sun to set ships aflame among many other notables. As was the use of light that interested us, and of course everything in electronic music needs an alias — it became the perfect name to attach as the project’s codename.”
Daedelus is flying Archimedes over to the United Kingdom to make its European debut at Koko. You can check out his performance in the video above.