Firstly, thank you very much for offering to help with the production of the installation, I really appreciate the support. I'm going to try and organise things so that you guys get hands on experience with the parts that you're each interested in.
Portal of Reflection is supported and funded by Light Up The Northern's Emerging Artist Programme.
October: Light Night Leeds (2 nights)
November: Light up Lancaster (2 nights)
December: Salford Quays (10 nights)
Quick production update for you...
I'm in the finishing stages of producing the paperwork for the installation (Technical specs, risk assessment, insurance, marketing description etc).
Here's what the brochure might end up looking like (pending approval). Just a draft but it gives you an idea. The copy has been simplified down from the original concept to match with the audience attending these festivals.
Mock-up of Light Night Leeds Brochure
Myself and Dan Berry (Audio Producer) have begun putting together some sample soundtracks to match the four distinct positive moods of the piece (Energy, Creativity, Presence and Love).
Here's me and Dan recording my heartbeat and some meditative breathing for one of the moods. This is also my apartment where the structure is going to be initially built... I may get some workshop space later in the year, but my place is pretty big so it should suit our needs for now.
I've got a metalwork order and addressable LED strip order both ready to hit GO on, but I'm just taking a little time to double check all my measurements etc before I do... I'm considering ordering everything a little bigger than I need so that I can cut them down if I need to.
Once I've ordered all the parts there will be a 15 day lead time, after which I could use some hands to put the thing together, solder all the LEDs and begun running some testing. In the meantime I'm going to be having a go at programming some animations to match the music.
Here's some quick answers to questions that I've had:
Q: What software are you using?
A: We may do something a bit simpler than this, but what I've planned to do is use Resolume to map the leds bars in 2D space, and run a video over the top of the mapping to tell the LEDs what colour and brightness to be, effectively creating a low density LED wall of sorts across each of the straight bars of the installation.
Instead of playing a generic VJ clip through Resolume, we're planning to produce a set of generative animations in Touch Designer, which will output through Spout into Resolume.
All the soundscapes are being produced in Ableton, which we may use to randomise some of the effects and order of instruments, to create a more varied set of moods.
It would be easiest to simply play the MP3s through Touch Designer and have the generative animations listen to the volume peaks, but if we get time we would like to have each midi channel from Ableton control a different aspect of the generative animations, to give it a live feel.
This will all run on a mini computer such as an Intel NUC and be housed in a waterproof case under the installation. We'll probably need to produce a plyboard box to cover over the top of this to hide it fully.
Q: When do you need me?
A: Well, during the build stage there will be specific dates that we can work together on the framework, LED's and programming... but if you can't make any of those dates I would really love it if some people could join me at the festivals to keep an eye on the installation and to speak to some of the visitors. At Leeds and Lancaster we're being asked to install and then stay for 2-3 nights at each location, and hotels will be provided for anyone who needs them. The Salford festival is a bit different, and we do need a few staff on site at the beginning and end of the 10 day festival, but not so much during the middle (unless you want to).
Q: What is this thing?
A: So basically I saw a bid come up for 3 light festivals around the north and I put together a pitch for it... and I was one of the three artists selected. The sculpture is kind of like a kaleidoscope, which has LED bars running down its interior. The diffraction glasses are tethered to the outside and will diffract the light into multiple directions, creating quite a nice effect.
When you have more questions I'll answer them here on the forum...