07 Currents-Multimedia performance

Multimedia performance: a live performance that’s often interactive and combines elements of theater, dance, music, film projection, video, props, and immersive environments. It can be performed in conjunction with art installations and other mediums.

Physically Colliding With Sound, Raul Altosaar

Raul Altosaar is an artist and researcher who makes custom musical interfaces that are powered by new technology. Together they create innovative interactive experiences.

In Physically Colliding With Sound, the Canada-based artist connects sensors to mundane objects, like a severed tree branch or overturned bucket. Using two handheld controllers keyed to the sensors, Altosaar creates a musical soundscape that viewers can hear over speakers. To pull it off, he used videogame engines coded with musical samples. He then combined them using the Musical Instrument Digital Interface (also known as MIDI). He maps the location of the objects using VR sensors and digital software, pairing each one with a musical sample.

In this piece, the objects can be used as targets for the controllers, which can trigger the sounds. Altosaar puts on a performance of physical movement and plays the objects as though they were musical instruments. It’s a collision of digital and analog worlds — the merging of virtual and actual realities. Forget about the music of the spheres. This is the music of random objects.

Altosaar gives pop-up performances at El Museo Cultural at 6:30 p.m. and throughout the evening on Friday, June 7; 2 to 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturday, June 8. — Michael Abatemarco