Amon Tobin's ISAM Tour Visuals Take A New Approach To Merging Sound And Stage Design

<p>The Brazilian DJ and producer releases a new album and recreates his sound in the form of 3D tour installations.</p>

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Jun 6 2011, 8:55pm

No wonder Rio de Janeiro artist Amon Tobin is known as a “scientist of sound.” His music is the result of unwearying sound experiments since the 90s, when he released his first album, Adventures in Foam, under the name Cujo. After receiving recognition for playing jazz and hip-hop inspired drum ‘n’ bass and twelve (yes, twelve) albums later, he's considered to be one of the most influential electronic music artists in the world.

In order to produce his new album, Tobin transformed sounds and noises from real life—like a creaky chair or puffs of air—to create sounds that are rooted in the mundane but then rendered unrecognizable after being “treated” by the producer. Just to get an idea: for the newly released ISAM, Tobin recorded samples in their original form and then modified and “constructed” them with the help of a Haken Continuum—a series of sensors covered by a single basis of neoprene that responds to finger pressure in three dimensions. You can check out the process in the video below:

But the project goes far beyond the album itself, unfolding into visual interpretations of the ISAM concept, which mixes the genres of psychedelia and science fiction for the album’s tour visuals. The DJ asked Alex Lazarus at Blasthaus to develop a mega structure with 3D effects specifically for ISAM performances. Dozens of white cubes and rectangles form the base for projection mapping that uses animation techniques and video game elements to augment the structure. You can see a preview of the installation below:

Besides the show installation, Tobin inspired visual artist Tessa Farmer to create a series of works based on his new album. A book with pictures of her mini-sculptures of insects is sold along with the CD, and an exhibition of the artist's work is on display at the Crypt Gallery in London, with the sounds of ISAM as soundtrack, until June 6.

We were there to film all this, including the collaboration with Tessa Farmer, so check back for the resulting video which we'll be putting up on The Creators Project soon.