[Premiere] Audio Visualizations Take a Haunting Journey into the Heart of Memory

Robert Seidel used a a video synthesizer to create a swirling, abstract visual equivalent of Esmark’s single "Husby-klit Bk."

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Jun 1 2017, 3:07pm

Named for a glacier in Svalbard, Norway, musical duo Esmark is a new collaboration between Nikolai von Sallwitz (Taprikk Sweezee, Karachi Files) and Alsen Rau (Scheich in China, On+Brr). The pair's haunting, polyphonic music is created using a huge modular setup, with their live performances featuring plenty of synth boxes and drum computers fed through FX chains and filters.

The processes behind Emark's live shows form the basis of the music video for the group's new single, "Husby-klit Bk." It's taken from their upcoming albums Māra I and Māra II and was made by visual artist Robert Seidel, who previously collaborated with von Sallwitz on the installation and experimental video, Vitreous.

For "Husby-klit Bk." Seidel says he wanted to create a visual parallel of their live performances. The result is an abstract echoing of the enveloping effect of their music.

"Using video material I captured over the recent years traveling to exhibitions and festivals, I wanted to create a floating state between unprocessed cognition and the constant overwriting of memories," Seidel tells Creators. "There are times where the jet lag and exhausting work fuse different cities and events into one and the video aims to recreate this overwhelming flux."

The music's deep reverberations are such that a listener can get lost in them. And Seidel's nebulous visuals—swirling subtly, eerily, and organically—feel like you're swimming in the dark audio.

"We all are surrounded by different temporal rhythms that structure our day and for me the track feels different every time I listen to it," notes Seidel. "So I had to find a visual equivalent of these fluctuating musical patterns."

For its final implementation Seidel used TouchDesigner along with a midi controller to help him improvise to the musical structure—feeding into the idea of fluctuation which informs the whole vibe of the video.

"While my artworks are usually constructed, animated and rendered over several months, I enjoyed the loose extemporization in real time. [It's] the opposite to my usual process of painstakingly animating drawings and sculptures. With every real time iteration the pulverized visual remains blended more and more with the subtle shiftings in the musical structure," notes Seidel. "With Nikolai I felt confident to step into something more improvisational and push some ideas that have been in my sketchbook for [a] long [time]."

Check out the video below:

Esmark's albums Māra I and Māra II will be released on July 28, 2017 via Bureau B. Find out more about Esmark and listen to previews of the albums here. For more on Robert Seidel visit his website or Vimeo.

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