Geometry Clip for GOLDEN RETRIEVER

A really neat collaboration with Golden Retriever on the Chicago label Thrill Jockey, building a Geometry Clip for their new album release, Seer.
The entire clip has been created with the unique Geometry Synthesizer setup leveraging the power of algorythmic/generative modeling in Grasshopper.
The incoming data is the Audio spectrum and control voltage that feeds the algorythms to allow manipulation of geometry parameters.
The result is a Geometry Clip recorded in one go, as due to the generative nature of the setup it would be almost impossible to replicate the exact same scene twice.
The inspiration for the overall scene and movement comes from the interface between two elements such as water/air in the sea and the evolving rhythm of the song.


This first scene has been recorded live while Matt Carlson was playing the Keyboard.
The video stream is processed through Firefly "image to mesh" vision tool, where the height of the mesh is controlled by the luminance of each pixel.


At 0:30 a 28x28 grid of points is created where points move along Z axis based on the incoming Audio Spectrum data. The size of the points are driven by an incoming low frequency oscillator with a rate that matches the overall ondulation of the song.


On top of the grid a curve represents the Audio Spectrum of the song, incoming data is reMapped on a circle and drives the Z height of points, the interpolation through those points is the resulting curve.


At 0:54 Jonathan Sielaff starts to play the bass clarinet.
This triangulated mesh inflates and deflates reminding us how sound is produced on a wind instrument by blowing through a reed.
The incoming pitch drives the displacment of a set of points that are triangulated.


On each mesh face a pyramid is built, the apex of the pyramid is also driven by the pitch of the Bass clarinet .


At 3:02 some layers of synthesizer parts are added, represented by a spherical constelation of dots driven by the audio spectrum.


The scene is mostly built here and the geometry keeps evolving, driven by the incoming data.


As the synthesizer solo starts the main audio spectrum curve runs through a kaleidoscope function.
Fast changes of camera trajectory match the dynamics of this part.


Starting from 5:09 geometries fade off to finaly leave only the triangulated mesh for the final bass clarinet solo.


As the bass clarinet solo ends, the mesh deflates and ends up collapsing on itself.


The technique used for the camera is a travel along a curve (pink curve) kinematic. Some changes in the perspective value are also used along the clip. The camera had to be operated through the hardware controller by a second person as is done in real life.

Setup used during the research stage of the project.

This project was the first MusicVideo made on the Geometry Synthesizeur and the first geometric video clip built in Grasshopper/Rhino 3D leveraging advanced algoryhtmic modeling techniques. It is an ongoing research project that will eventually land on other collaborations in the future.

Thanks to

  • Date: March 2014
  • Categories: Lab, Generative Design, music related
  • Client: Collaboration with Golden Retriever