Live From Space! is unlike anything you have ever experienced. How do we know? The team at Sensebellum is creating it – and each new live experience is something completely fresh and experimental, with every human sense heightened and explored.
“Live From Space! is a diverse combination of live musicians and visual artists exploring the interface between digital and analog performance, in an experience not often seen, yet not soon forgotten..” -Sensebellum
Dance to original electronic compositions performed by live musicians; Watch as a stage design reflecting the natural and digital divide comes to life and unifies disparate realms of sound and light – both electronic and organic. Celebrate with other fans of the electronic arts community for a night of life, creativity, and a fresh spin on the technologic times! Blending themes of organic and digital, natural and electronic – Live From Space! is set to be an unforgettable experience.
“[We] strive to provide something that is extremely enjoyable and fresh. Something that offers what that cannot be downloaded, bought on a shelf, or made in mass. Something that is both accessible and real – a true experience.” -Casey Scalf, Owner & Lead Visual Artist
Live From Space!, along with every Sensebellum production, is more than just sight and sound – They are an opening of the mind and an exploration beyond the boundaries that we are used to. We asked Casey Scalf, owner and lead visual artist for Sensebellum, just what makes a Sensebellum experience so unique:
“The key ingredients of a Sensebellum experience include the senses (part sight, part sound, part touch, and often many others) mixed in meaningful ways in a physical space with the company of friends all interacting in thought-provoking and beautiful ways.” -Casey Scalf
You might remember one of the best productions from Freaknight Festival, which was actually outside the venue’s doors. Across the street from the entrance, the old brick buildings that are usually unnoticed by festival-goers were now a visual spectacle – virtual worms, caterpillars, and tarantulas were crawling all over the sides of the brick structures. And a moment later, the creepy-crawlies disappeared – replaced by the festival’s set times being displayed along the brick walls. These incredible visuals were created by Sensebellum, using their most well-known production technique called projection-mapping:
“Freaknight 2013 was truly a great experience for our team… something we genuinely felt added to the overall night and theme very well… There are lines outside the door as everyone eagerly waits to get inside… We talked with many concert-goers after they came up to the entrance and were blown away as a 2-story tarantula hopped from one building to another with worms wriggling from one window into the next. We also saw the usefulness of the architecture assembling into the lineup for each stage as fans took photos of and jotted down the time slots for their favorite artists. It really set the theme for the great night early on, and was a very fun project in of itself.” -Casey Scalf
“2014 will be known as the year natural forms and digital creations fusing into a new aesthetic experience of boundless possibilities benefiting all.” -Sensebellum
We are in utter shock and disbelief of all the technical advances and phenomenal effects that this Sensebellum crew can pull off, let alone think up in their minds. So, what is this “fusion of digital and nature” all about? We asked Casey what their true intentions were with Live From Space! and why it is a monumental, key production to their growth and the expansion of the human experience:
“Expect to see a beautiful integration of glowing natural plants and mapped prismatic structures that populate the stage and club. One will hear the familiar sequencing of beats, tweaks, and composition, but the content will be of a more analog, warm generation… Feel at home in both the natural and digital realms, dancing and mingling with friends. I aim for everyone to get a sense [that] this is where we are headed, and this is going to be a truly beautiful convergence that benefits all.” -Casey Scalf
For more details and to RSVP on Facebook, click here.
The Music of Live From Space!
The musical artists selected for Live From Space! have their own incredible list of talents. Get to know DJ Vice-Versa, Cuff Lynx, and Manatee Commune below, and listen to their unique sounds that are sure to make Live From Space! an unforgettable experience.
“The reasoning behind the artist selection was driven by their reflection of the theme components: “Live” and “Space”… I looked for those who offer a live, instrumental performance. A performance that blends this natural sound in a digital way… Something that sounds like a spaceship that took off from Studio 54 in 1981 and just landed with a bunch of animals and plants from Alpha Centauri.” -Casey Scalf
Get To Know DJ Vice-Versa: A worldly sound beaming right from Bellingham, Vice Versa, a curator of the Music Producer’s Club, blends modern rhythms and musical composition techniques with historical musical roots to make jive come alive.
Get To Know Cuff Lynx: Somewhere between an epic space quest and the best dance party ever, CUFF LYNX is a Bellingham duo who gravitates around sounds and senses that pump your soul and pound your flesh into an experience that will bring you home and push you abroad. Digital meets pivotal and dance means disco. We are the now. You are it. Dance. (This will be the debut of the CUFF LYNX live set!)
Get To Know Manatee Commune: Flowing, beautiful, and rife with complexity, Manatee Commune creates rich sound and stunning original melodies from both live instrumentation and polished bass lines.
For more details on Live From Space! and to RSVP on Facebook, click here.
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Ever wonder what inspires the Sensebellum team? Find out where they pull their inspiration and ideas from, and find out what else they have in store for 2014. You will be amazed.
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Read The Full Interview Here:
Live From Space! Interview with Dance Music Northwest
You’ve dubbed 2014 as the year where Sensebellum focuses on the fusion of nature and digital. Is this due to a lack of connection that you’ve noticed, as the music world is shifting more and more toward electronic forms? Or is this just a combination of your collective passions of nature and digital?
2014 will be the a prominent year in the fusion of digital and natural forms. By this I am referring to how the more complex and evolved a certain piece of technology is the more it mirrors forms and processes found in nature. This can be seen in solar panels structured like trees using the Fibonacci sequence, geodesic domes, fields printed with plants AND flowers in digital patterns that provide more food, and the computer classic: “Conway’s Game of Life“. This interesting mix of archetypical forms found at both the micro and macro scale has always been an interest. As our world progresses further it is important to recognize our roots and learn the brilliant principles within for the well being and entertainment of all. Mixing these forms into a live performance of sound, light, and physical space seemed, well – natural.
What are some key elements you strive to provide your event-goers with in their experience? What key elements, or senses, are always involved?
The key ingredients of a Sensebellum experience include the senses (part sight, part sound, part touch, and often many others) mixed in meaningful ways in a physical space with the company of friends all interacting in thought provoking and beautiful ways. Whether the project is a night that transforms a local music venue and rocks the house or a week long installation at a gallery space, I strive to provide something that is extremely enjoyable and fresh. Something that offers what that cannot be downloaded, bought on a shelf, or made in mass. Something that is both accessible and real – a true experience.
You definitely have given Bellingham, and surrounding areas, something so unique and incredible to experience. Something that the bigger city, in all its spectaculars, completely lacks. Does Bellingham embrace Sensebellum as one of their valued treasures, and do you get a good response from your events and productions?
Well thank you for the kind words. I can say for myself, and anyone on the team, that this is what we love to do and it is an honor to be received well in the community for what we do. Although I embrace the formal image of my company there are many times where the work is engaging to a point where the meta-reflection slows. It is during these times, such as now during this interview, that I reflect on the past 3 years and am proud to be able to do what I do. I believe the scene has progressed to such a degree due to the connected-ness of a smaller sized city. With such intimacy at a concert and when the residencies, clubs, and places to meet are so close people are able to talk much more frequently and develop the unique qualities of their community. It’s great place to be and it seems like this is happening all over. I look forward to translating this to a larger city in the future.
Lets talk Freaknight – what was the response from event-goers? I can tell you that your visual production along the nearby buildings made waiting in line a LOT more interesting. How did that go as far as expanding your reach to the Seattle area?
was truly a great experience for our team and was something we genuinely felt added to the overall night and theme very well. Characteristic of any large event there are lines outside the door as everyone eagerly waits to get inside. As Freaknight is a professional production, the theme is important and the aesthetic of such needs to be deployed in fresh and engaging ways. Near the main entrance there are two older buildings and these were the perfect canvas for some of Sensebellum’s speciality: projection mapping. Following the fusion of natural and digital, a version of the two 5-story buildings was crafted and real life tarantulas, caterpillars, and worms were let loose on the architecture. Using this as a basis for much further graphical manipulation the end result was spectacular. We talked with many concert-goers after they came up to the entrance and were blown away as a 2-story tarantula hopped from one building to another with worms wriggling from one window into the next. We also saw the usefulness of the architecture assembling into the lineup for each stage as fans took photos of and jotted down the time slots for their favorite artists. It really set the theme for the great night early on and was a very fun project in of itself.
What’s next on your agenda as far as returning to Seattle? Anything in store? If so, will it be nature-meets-digital themed? We would love to see that here.
The near future goals for Sensebellum are of course “Live from Space!”
at the Wild Buffalo this Jan 31st, as well as another edition of our interactive nightlife feature, “5D”
at Glow Nightclub come this springtime. However, for the time after that it would be lovely to come down to Seattle more often. I have been working with the Seattle Parks Department to do a projection mapping show at Cal Anderson around June – among other possibilities in the works. And yes, you can expect more of this fusion. But in good evolutionary fashion it will never be the same twice!
Where do you guys pull your influence from for your incredible projects? It is funny to see how much your projects influence and open the minds of everyone who experiences them. What motivates/astonishes you?
I tend to pull influence from the different non-performance areas I am interested in such as astronomy, biology, geology, and other life sciences. Have you ever read the book, “Art Forms in Nature”
by Ernst Haeckel? That one was really influential. I am at the same time astonished and the fast moving themes and memes within a particular area yet motivated to see so many still create original works. Works such as those from Gabriel Mott of the “Colorbox”
, Tim Thompson with the “Space Palette”
or Casey Raes, founder of Processing
have illustrated that there is plenty left to explore and many more projects and ideas yet to be manifested. In this day and age of media proliferation it can be easy to sway with the common current or get bogged down into the everywhere at once expansion of technology. At times I will surface and take a random sampling of other projects, events, and creators and return to the work I had at hand afterwards. I tend to align my company’s view of the idea as though Australia might – evolutionarily speaking: where else would you find a Kangaroo or a Platypus?
Any out-of-state productions or events in the works? If not, what state/country/city/festival would you love to set up an amazing stage/experience?
Looks like this summer will include a bit of traveling. Idaho, Maui, Oregon, all over Washington, and California possibly. I would love to setup a dream installation at Bumpershoot this year and I would really love to work with urban planners and festival organizers on engaging city architecture with mapping and interaction like we have the past few years at the Capitol Hill Block Party
Those are especially fun because a downtown core can be stopped for a few days and everyone gets to have a great time and party in the streets and balconies while sound, art and good times flows like wine.
In a time where EDM is on its way to “mainstream,” do you still notice the founding principles of love, respect, and unity in your community? Do you think its something that we are losing, or is it still preserved by those who respect it?
Although “the times may be a changing” I still think the philosophy and principles on which it stands are intact. I see this evidenced every show as many come together and meet new friends and see old ones and have a great time creating lasting memories. I see it again on the production side where everyone works together to make something amazing happen for all.
How did you choose the artists for Live From Space? Are they favorites of yours, local guys or did you choose based on tying the music into the experience? Or both?
The reasoning behind the artist selection was driven by their reflection of the theme components: “Live” and “Space”. Also, by their location and status within the area and professional competence as musicians. By this I mean I looked for those who offer a live, instrumental performance. A performance that blends this natural sound in a digital way through further computer processing into something that sounds like a spaceship that took off from Studio 54 in 1981 and just landed with a bunch of animals and plants from Alpha Centauri.
What can we expect to see/feel/hear/sense at Live From Space? What is something people can experience here that they haven’t at your other events/productions? And which part is most exciting to you as someone working in the back end?
At Live From Space one can expect to see a beautiful integration of glowing natural plants and mapped prismatic structures that populate the stage and club. One will hear the familiar sequencing of beats, tweaks, and composition but the content will be of a more analog, warm generation. Now will also feel at home in both the natural and digital realms dancing and mingling with friends. I aim for everyone to get a sense of this is where we are headed and this is going to be a truly beautiful convergence that benefits all. The part that is most exciting for myself is the organizational and programming side of the event. I geek out all the time and love the challenges of the software development side of operations. For instance recently we worked on custom network of 10+ devices and computers that can exchange OSC, MIDI, video, and other resources live through a suite of in-house software applications. It was a long process but a really fun one at the same. I marvel at how such abstract code and instructions can translate into a well sync’d and networked multimedia performance experience.