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Electronic Music Sounds Better Inside an LED-Filled Geodesic Dome

Using both avant-gardist and smart architecture—and experimental sound—artists in Montreal create a disruptive, generative A/V environment.
All photos © Sébastien Roy

This year, Montreal launched an intense series of festivities during which IX symposium, Sight & Sound, ELEKTRA, and MUTEK each offered an international window into digital, audiovisual creativity. In May 2015, the Society for Arts and Technology [SAT] offered up Entropia, a generous catalyst for its symposium dedicated to the avant-garde immersive experiences that kick off later on this month.

Taking over the SAT's signature dome, a first version of the sonic spatialization project was developed last winter by Fraction during a residency at the SAT. For this second iteration, the Paris-based sound artist teamed up with visual artists Nature Graphique, Louis-Philippe St-Arnault, and Creation Ex Nihilo, to immerse the audience inside a dynamic environment that blurs the lines between installation and performance. Inspired by the smart architecture, aesthetic, symbolism, and unity of the geodesic dome imagined and created by the visionary Buckminster FullerEntropia combines and confronts a portable sphere structure of 13' in diameter within the colossal space.


The digital RGB LED strip-powered skeleton provided a pixel map with a resolution of 6,000px. When merged with the dome's real-time generative visuals, as well as with the experimental ambisonic 3D textures of the artists, the experience submerges the spectator in an uncanny A/V environment—generated thanks to MadMapper, TouchDesigner, Resolume, MaxMsp, Ableton Live, Lemur and IanniX—wherein the depth of fields and the different layers nourish an organic narrative track with an evolutionary intensity.

The multisensory experience makes clear the strong duality between the luminous behavior of the sphere and the visuals of the dome, while its soundtrack proposes a pressurized in-between space wherein the signal-to-noise ratio between the various mediums is tangible.

We checked out the dome—and here's what we saw:


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