Kurt Laurenz Theinert & Axel Hanfreich @ GLOW (Eindhoven, the Netherlands)

For the third successive time the center of Eindhoven is the stage and podium for GLOW, an open air exhibition providing a fascinating spectacle of applied light art and design on landmarks and other unique locations in Holland’s City of Light.

From 7 to 16 November, 19 works by artists, designers and architects from home and abroad can be seen and experienced along the exhibition route.

One of the works at GLOW 2008 is an audio-visual project by two German guys.

In collaboration with two software designers Kurt Laurenz Theinert developed a visual piano, with a keyboard that produces graphics instead of sounds. The drawings are projected on a 360° panorama in a darkened space. The space is filled with sounds, colors and lines and undergoes a surprising modification. He has adapted the setting of “Hammerhaus” for GLOW in cooperation with the musician Axel Hanfreich.

Kurt Laurenz Theinert / Axel Hanfreich @ GLOW
Kurt Laurenz Theinert / Axel Hanfreich @ GLOW — check Flickr for more images of GLOW

I had the pleasure of a show last night and I had a little talk with Axel afterwards. I thought an Ableton Live + controller setup would be great for this type of thing, but Axel was mainly using his Yamaha RS7000 sampler/sequencer for the performance. He explained he likes working with this particular sampler because of its wide range of effects and it’s easy to modify and tweak the sounds during a performance.

The equipment for sound and visuals isn’t physically linked, everything is played live. Kurt and Axel simply sync audio and light by using ears and eyes, so even though they have a limited repertoire of a dozen tracks the show will be different every time.

Here’s a video with some snippets from an earlier Hammerhouse performance.


Snippets from Hammerhouse @ YouTube

Since we only had a few minutes before they were doing another show I unfortunately didn’t have time to talk to Kurt as well, but I got from Axel that Kurt was using a MIDI controlled setup powered by vvvv for his visual piano, developed in collaboration with Roland Blach and Philip Rahlenbeck.

Visit the websites of Kurt and Axel for more information about their work and if you happen to be in Eindhoven in the next few days you should definitely check them out at GLOW.

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