• I finally put together a highlights video of the Faceless Forces of Bigness show at Sound Symposium XIX in Newfoundland this year. I am, of course, optimizing my Isadora patches based on my experience there, but I think that this video captures a bit of the show nicely.

    I had started a thread here with some findings on working with Isadora in an improvised audio visual environment.


    The group, Faceless Forces of Bigness, has 3-4 musicians using analog electronic instruments set up in a fashion to create generative music. The performers change the generative conditions which changes the patterns and tonalities of their performance. The concept behind the video is to set up audio reactive imagery and sequences that responds to each performers audio and explores tensions between continuous and discontinuous things (language and nature, digital and analog, words and picture, whole and fractured etc). To accomplish this, Isadora is setup to take 4 live audio inputs using a USB audio interface. There are also 4 video tracks. The audio can be routed to modulate various parameters in the video effects of each track: clip time position, scale, x/y position, transparency and hue - all with influence determined by me.

    Faceless Forces of Bigness at Sound Symposium from Justin Stephenson on Vimeo.

    The show was super well received. We packed the house for the show, and for the next day's workshop (which I think is a good sign). There was great interest in Isadora as the video tool. Many of the performers have rigs that use Resolume with Live, or VDMX or Arkos. The feedback I received was the video had a strong generative, audio reactive feel to it which many of the attendees at the workshop hoped they could incorporate into their shows. I think that the incredible lack of latency and the ability to route four discrete audio inputs to parameters really add to the feeling of integration. One of our members, John D.S. Adams, who really lead the charge to perform at Sound Symposium, won a best of festival award for innovative intersection between technology and music!
    From my own perspective, working with Isadora this time, I was really excited about the process and the results. I have been aiming for a strong audio reactive link between the music and picture for 15 some years. I feel that I finally achieved it with this iteration of our work. The latency was undetectable, and having the ability to route each performer's audio to different parameters added a great deal of visual interest.
    It was like painting with moving pictures. Such a pleasure.

  • super inspiring, justin!


  • Beta Platinum



    Great stuff, I love the way you have put the documentation together. It is really in its own world.

    Best Wishes