The producers of this performance contacted me to work with designer Pia Myrvold to plan and deliver a projection mapped set and visual lighting for the premier of Isabella Steinsdotter’s music project which doubled up as a video shoot. I called on Insight Lighting to supply all the projection kit and Brendan was a dream to work with as usual.
The multi-talented filmmaker, musician, artists and director Zahed Sultan invited me to create the stage set projections for this show at The Albany Theatre, Deptford after I spotted a post on social media looking for my skills. The Haramacy residency program and multi arts festival was held on the 27th April 2019. The program brought together 11 artists from Middle Eastern and South Asian communities in London for a 4-day residency to collaborate and create works that would be performed on the fifth day. I designed and fabricated the triangular screens using a mixture of rear and front projection materials. I worked with the artists to create content for the triangular screens and use the design successfully.
Bec Smith of Urban Projections contacted me to ask if I would like to go to Alexandria to do a projection mapping for her. It was a short trip but a pleasure to meet the team at Back Street Festival and display such a lovely piece of work. The piece was commissioned for DCAF festival (Cairo), and Backstreet Festival (Alexandria). Great to see it got some press too.
In Bec’s words ‘Fault Line’ transforms architectural facades in the beautiful Egyptian cities. The piece explores a continuing fascination with geology and local landscape. It explores the transience of energy release, associated with rapid movement of faults on the earths surface.’
My mates at As Described were busy so passed this tidy little job onto me. I simply needed to hire a big projector, place it in the window of a fashion stylists office across the street and projection map a beautiful video: Max Cooper’s Order From Chaos by Maxime Causeret.
The event was to mark the start of Frieze art fair. I went inside for a while and introduced myself to one gentleman at the bar, turned out he was Ian Emes, the animator of some early Pink Floyd visuals, what a great pleasure. I soon made my excuses and left with the projector before the night undoubteldy got a little crazy.
I have worked for Bertie and Haydn at Immersive-me on a number of projects. Among the most memorable and impressive was with Reeps One and Zach Walker for an event sponsored by Ballantines whisky, filmed at Printworks London.
I have freelanced with Transition since 2017. The first job they sent me out on was at Hammersmith Apollo to set-up a pair of projectors and screens for an Erykah Badu concert. They have employed me as VJ for the main stage at Beat Herder Festival in 2017 and 2018, LED technician and Camera Operator for multiple stages at Parklife Festival and Manchester Pride among many other events. Highlights shows with them have been at Wembley Arena and La Seine Musicale in Paris for a Korean boy band. While I was VJ at Beat Herder I had the pleasure to perform alongside many musical greats including one of my all time favourites Lee Scratch Perry.
The lovely Henry Trew whom I had got to know while he was running Dalston Roof Park had a big hand in organising this small but beautifully formed festival which raises vital funds for Jamie’s Farm to host outdoor education trips for inner-city children.
I helped out for a few years and really enjoyed adding some projections to an experimental space with a collection of artists from the studios where I worked the first year. In 2016 I designed the ‘main stage’ in the barn for the first time. I found some materials on site and constructed some organic shaped screens which hung above the stage to be mapped with projections.
In 2015 I was sacked from a job, dumped by my girlfriend and also given notice to leave where I was living, all within a week. Pretty bleak. I decided to turn all of that negativity into something positive, distracting and useful!
I wanted to realise a long held dream of organising an audiovisual festival. Initial plans were conconcted and emails went out to the people whom I wanted to help make it a reality. After a year of hard work and commitment from a small team of directors with huge contributions from the community of artists and volunteers Splice Festival was first staged from the 3rd to the 5th June 2016: http://2016.splicefestival.com/
Zak Norman of Black Box Echo came to me with an interesting challenge… He had built a show using the most impressive and cumbersome Quartz Composer patch I have ever seen and wanted me to understand it enough to be his understudy should the need ever arise.
We spent a couple of days together and I wrote an instruction manual which would hopefully be enough to let me get the show up and running. The system used structured midi data sent to QC from Ableton live which was directly synced to Tom’s laptop on stage. The twisted logic that Zak implemented ensured that every show would be individual. Before each and every performance he would input a set of localised data, such as weather conditions and city population, from these data points the programme would make choices such as allocations of colour or distortion etc. Zak had employed the talents of the best QC programmers in the game, Anton Marini and George Toledo to create some of the generative compositions within his megastructure and it was a pleasure to see how it all combined to produce some impressive results. Thankfully I never needed to be understudy but I did get to do one show alongside Zak at Lovebox and the instructions worked about 90% of the way. It was also nice to put a face to the name Pesh who was projectionist for this show.
Ben Sheppee at Light Rhythm Visuals (now Observatory London) sent me out on a few VJ shows this summer. Two with Shikari Sound System and one with Dizzee Rascal. Ben supplied all the content for both artists regularly and it was a pleasure to go out on the road for him. The Shikari Sound System show was all triggered by the band over a network so easy for me once it was all rehearsed and working. Shows at Leeds and Reading Festivals followed and duly executed in the muddy fields that were.
The Dizzee Rascal show was a different kettle of fish. Soho House Summer party, a bourgeois heaven in the grounds of a mansion on the outskirts of London with lobsters and champagne on tap. Can’t say I didn’t indulge. It was nice to meet De La Soul backstage too. No photos or recordings of that one!
Jim Horsfield of As Described lives in Ipswich, he was contacted by a local promoter who was planning something big. He had a warehouse to use and permission from the local authorities to hold a big music and art event otherwise known as a ‘rave’. It was a huge space and it needed a full treatment with projections and lighting. I worked with Insight Lighting to put together a cost effective package of Solar 250’s, Kodak Carousels using some simple minimal designs. Jim supplied two 10k lumen video projectors with wide angle lenses which I used to projection map the roof and walls of the space. Madmapper line plugin was heavily used as were a lot of my sound reactive Quartz Composer patches.
Yellow Lounge was a popular classical music event which my mate and fellow Quartz Composer programmer Jim Warrier was commissioned to create visuals for, I gladly joined him and provided some sound reactive 3d content a couple of times.
Mr Manuva invited me to create a set of visuals for his new live show with the Banana Klan. It was a pleasure to collate a set of material from new and archive videos and combine those with some sound reactive elements made in Quartz Composer.
The show went off with a boom and a rumbling bass ably deliverd by the live band and DJ Chris P Cuts.
My footage of the show was unusable due to the massive vibrations in the control booth, (let that be a warning to anyone who works there), but I did slavage a few stills:
I was renting a desk in the studio of my good friends Insight Lighting when they asked if I could help create some of the content and be part of the technical team on the biggest show I had ever worked on at the time. Another great animator on the team was Pep Palau.
It was simply huge! It was held at Evolution Battersea which is a giant blank canvas for events. The set-up consisted of: 21 projectors, 12 for the 360º surround image, 8 for backgrounds visible through the wrap-around translucent mesh screen and 1 for the stage show. Main content was all delivered using Modul8 by Brendan from a MacPro with 2 GPU’s and some clever use of a matrix switcher.
I first met the incredible musician and programmer Tim Exile at Hackney Film Festival. He contacted me sometime later to provide some live camera mixing for his new live stream experiment and I jumped at the chance.
We did four CrowdJam shows where the audience uploaded samples to a Soundcloud page, these samples were automagically synced to his music software with which he then improvised the entire show.
The video is Lo-Fi and as crunchy and compressed as you can get but kinda fun when the wireless head mounted camera kicks in and I play with the analogue tuning for extra glitchiness:
Justin at meno.tv had been working with Hospitality Drum and Bass events for a while and he had built them some huge logo lighting and projection mapping features. For this show in Brixton he had created a cylindrical LED stage set for one of the headline artists which was an all consuming task so he asked me to come along and VJ for the rest of the night. I always loved Drum and Bass and to work in Brixton Academy for the first time was a pleasure.
My friend Gary (Deepvisual) had uploaded some projection mapping tutorials to Youtube and someone in Mongolia was watching them. Ulziibayar Nergui an Ulan Bator based DJ, budding projection mapper and dance music promoter soon got in touch with him. He was looking for a Projection Mapping artist to help him create a show. Gary was busy again on another job so he suggested me. Wow, Mongolia I had only dreamed of the chance to visit such a place!
This was the first big 3D projection mapping that I was technically and artistically producing. The pressure was on. I had been closely following and studying the techniques of projection mapping and had created some of my own tools with Quartz Composer to achieve many of the effects which were being used.
We used five projectors to cover three objects with projection, 2 cubist structures and an eye above the DJ booth. It was quite a push for our MacBook Pro’s but it worked smoothly using two Matrox Dual Head to Go devices to feed the outputs.
Mongolia was an amazing experience even though I was only there for 10 days, working with the local crew was fun and challenging due to the language barrier, our interpreter Zolboo was not always around. It turns out Zolboo was also ‘the only drone musician’ in Mongolia’ and some damn fine sounds he does make: https://soundcloud.com/crepusculo
My friend and collaborator Ojah worked at a Music School and his boss wanted something special for his wedding. A bit out of my usual but I was happy to oblige.
I knew the work of a great illustrator Martin Wollerstam and he came along and ‘drew’ directly onto the architecture with a graphics tablet piped into my projection mapping software. I put together a soundtrack of suitable music with choices from the happy couple and as the guests digeseted the meal a panorama of designs emerged around them on the walls of a beautiful 17th century barn. The images came to life with colour and animations as the evening disco kicked into life.
An Italian friend and colleague who lived in London was part of a successful projection mapping collective back home called Deltaprocess and they had a show coming up for Kernel Festival. He asked if I would be interested in helping out and I jumped at the chance, a paid trip to Italy in the summer for an mapping festival, what’s not to like?
At the time I had a bee in my bonnet about narrative in projection mapping of which there was very little that I had seen so I really pushed for this to be an aim of the project.
A national referendum was held in Italy in June 2011, there were questions concerning the repeal of recent laws regarding the privatisation of water services, building new nuclear energy plants and criminal procedure, specifically a provision exempting the Prime Minister and the Ministers from appearing in court. We took these themes and created our show. The results of the referendum were spectacular in rejecting the privatisation, new nuclear power and Berlusconi’s attempt to create a get out of jail free card.
The show was 30 minutes in total. We used Quartz Composer, Max/MSP/Jitter and Isadora. A lot of the content was generated in realtime and triggered with OSC sent over a wireless network from the musicians on stage. Other clips were created in Cinema4d and After Effect.
We created the entire show in 48 hours from arrival on site in Desio. We were accommodated in a junior school classroom where we set-up our studio and worked through the night animating and programming for the following day.
Deltaprocess are a talented, hard working and extremely creative team with which to work and have gone on to create many spectacular shows and stages around the world.
Working alongside musical collaborator Ojah we created the Heavy/Light audiovisual performance for Dr Mo‘s event at the Roxy Bar and Screen. The music was a selection of Ojah’s productions and a scattering of new music from other groundbreaking producers.
The visuals were 100% realtime audio reactive patches created with Quartz Composer. I built a standalone composition which switched between 3D scenes with individually controlled textural layers via midi control.
Kabal parties are legendary for those in the Sheffield scene and I was more than happy to return to my home town for this big rave and VJ onto the walls of a gigantic railway arch. I really enjoyed working with the graphic content created by DJ Pipes and recorded this mix shortly after to the booming beat of a great track by my old mate Tomski.
The Big Chill festival had been an important part of the cultural calendar for more than a decade, it was the only festival I had once bought a ticket to attend.
The company in charge of video tech was As Described, Adam and Jim had been providing VJ and video services to the Big Chill for many years. It was the music festival that most supported the VJ and AV performance scene, booking whole rosters of visual artists each year, they even had a stage devoted to AV performance ‘The Media Mix tent’. I was really happy to be invited along as a video technician to help install VJ kits and projections for the stages.
The day before heading to the site at Eastnor Castle I also read a post on the VJ Forums (which was the central site for the international VJ and AV community). It was a message from a DJ’s manager looking for someone to help out with a show at the Big Chill, the artist in question was Sampology, he was coming all the way from Australia and needed someone to help mix live cameras into his Turntablist Audiovisual performance and supply a laptop to run some sound reactive Quartz Composer patches. Just to add a little extra twist the show was in a dome with 360º projections. I swiftly got in touch and happily helped out on this show and then one other in Bristol with DJ Cheeba while Sam was still in the UK.
Sadly 2010 was the year when the ownership of the festival changed hands and the new team had overlooked the booking of VJ’s. A few artists brought their own visual content but most did not. I knew a couple of the musicians and DJ’s on the line-up so plugged in and gave them my visuals but mostly the Roland V8 video mixers sat idle.
I must have done something right at the first show because they invited me back to work on the finale of the Emerging Artists in Residence project at the Royal Festival Hall on the 27th February 2009.
It was a huge show with hundreds of individual participants and 16 live acts in one night. I worked with the musicians to create content to fit with each set and mixed live feed cameras onto a massive projection filling the back of the stage.
I used hired the Vixid video mixer from Deepvisual for the first time which gave me unrivalled layering modes for the live camera feeds. I directed 3 camera operators for the duration of the show while simultaneously cuing and VJing graphic and video content.
As an added little extra I brought in the superb Prickimage to supply his Walkabout projection kit and roam around during the interval projecting onto the surroundings while transmitting a wireless camera feed to the screen in the auditorium.
Dan Fenton the VJ whom accompanied me at the E.A.R show had been invited to discuss creating a show for the Tate Gallery, gratefully he called me in for the meeting with them.
The theme for the event was ‘behind the scenes’. This set us up with a nice task: to film all around the gallery for a couple of days with access to all areas in order to create content for the show. The vaults were a particular treat, where I got to film Henry Moore sketchbooks and one-off art books by William Ruskin. DJ’s and musicians for the night were drawn from the staff of the gallery.
Just before one of the Jammin Crew events a headline musician dropped out and a replacement had to be found. The replacement artist we contacted was part of a new project at the Southbank Centre, Emerging Artists in Residence (EAR). They agreed to play and brought with them a big group of young musicians who performed various sets for us that evening, it was amazing.
Soon after I was contacted by one of them Aruba Red to see if I’d be interested in performing at the first big group show for the EAR project. The performance was at the Queen Elizabeth Hall in The Southbank Centre.
I worked alongside another VJ, Dan Fenton as suggested by project leader Neil Quinton. He was great to have as my co-pilot on such a big show. It was filmed for me by Sam Daniel and Kyla Simone Bruce.
Sheffield and Leeds band the Volcanoes came to me to create two videos for them. They had a small budget and made some good catchy indie/rock so we made it happen. I found the keys for an empty space in the Stag Works and we shot two tracks in a live performance scenario. I used some sound reactive Quartz Composer graphics and O.H.P with cut-out paper projections to add animated graphics to the scene.
Booked again to film the massive White Party at Magna, it was a full on production. I brought in a second camera operator with High Definition kit and used a stills camera to shoot timelapse. We captured the whole multi-room event from build to teardown.
The show included a performance from John ‘OO’ Fleming’s live act 00DB. John asked me to edit a short promo for him from this show:
This was the last job I did for Gatecrasher as they claimed insolvency (as they seemed to do every few years) and screwed me for a chunk of my invoice.
Following on from the vox pops I shot after the Sheffield club burned down the company launched a new venue in Nottingham. They booked me to make a video of the VIP opening night and two further shows with Roger Sanchez and David Guetta.
Mr Manuva had come to live in Sheffield, married a friend and was busy making life.
He booked in a writing and recording session for his next album at the short lived but swanky Sheffield residence Kenwood Studios and asked me to be there to document some of the sessions. It was a pleasure to hang out and see through the whole of his creative process.
Continuing our successful creative relationship I was more than happy to collaborate with Jody once again to create the cover for his second album ‘Afterlife’.
He came to me with a very low res portrait taken on an old mobile phone and I did my best to make it presentable with some layering and blur. There are two other sets of photographs layered together in the design. One is from a roll of ‘found film’ that I retrieved from a camera discovered in the mud at Glastonbury festival the second set is of a sunset on the Island of Inhaca taken by a friend who borrowed my camera.
One of the greatest friends I met at university is Sam Daniel, once upon a time Sam had an idea….
Sam’s birthday falls between Christmas and New Years eve so for once he wanted to have a big party. 27th Dec 2005 and the idea comes together, a crew of us head down from Sheffield to meet up with Sam and his friends at a basement venue close to the end of Oxford st.
What followed is legendary amongst the friends who were there…and became a labour of love for a small group of us for the next few years. We created events at a huge range of pubs, clubs and venues around London and in Sheffield. We really should have a standalone website and archive!
There was a bit of buzz about town for this new nightclub and live venue and I was happy to be invited alongside my studio mate Anthony Ashton to provide visuals for them on a regular basis. We made VJ mix DVDs for the screens around the venue and had an arrangement for monthly live VJ performances on the headline nights.
Plug had employed the great design team of Peter Donohoe (DJ Pipes) and Paul Reardon (peterandpaul.co.uk) to create the identity, publicity materials and branding for the business. This gave us a great starting point and some luscious content to start playing with.
Sheffield based French musical coupling The Lovers needed a quick turn-around video for their song as it was garnering some commercial interest. You may recognise the song from it’s use on a McDonalds TV advert.
The highly talented and original Sheffield band I Monster employed me to create and perform a full live visual set to accompany their album launch show at the Cobden Club London, W10.
I filmed some of their homemade props in the studio and some antics on location including the back of a Rolls Royce car. I also downloaded some clips from the archive.org and used some of the great videos they had already created.
My good friend Jody Wildgoose whom I’d known since playing in teenage bands had scored a record deal for his music with Sketchbook Records. Working together Jody and I designed his first CD album cover.
The biggest show to date with Jamie Wilkins of Scuba at the helm. We filled the three rooms of the ballroom with music and visuals for two very special events. I pulled in studio mate Anthony for main room VJ duties while I supplied visuals with Justin Randell for live performances by The Lovers, Jody Wildgoose and Mu in room 2.
The footage was shot by my friend and collaborator Mark Cohen who had invested in a Canon XL1s DV camera upon my advice. He gave me ready access to use it in many of my productions at the time and I will be forever grateful for his generosity.
My first music video made for my housemate Chris’ band Bear. It was shot on Super 8 film and Hi-8 video. I did lots of hand colourising and scratching onto the super8 and then projected multiple layers of film onto a screen and re-filmed. It was edited with Chris at Sheffield Independent Film on a Panasonic tape editing system in one very long night.