The very first concert I ever attended was Nine Inch Nails
I was 16, we got seats in this massive arena and I remember thinking "sitting in seats? for a concert!?"
The seconds the lights went out, I jumped over my seat. My friends yelled 'where the hell are you going?!' as I busted through the security checkpoint + got myself lost in a mosh pit of giant hairy metal heads.
After smoking a joint with a 45 year old woman with 1 tooth, I had the most transformative experience my tiny little brain could handle:
I became obsessed with understanding how light and sound could be programmed to work together. It felt like a modern, unexplored space.
Over the years I've gone through many tools and gadgets. I had pedal boards I rigged up to MIDI controllers so I could 'perform' the lights, gutted electric guitars with extra buttons and knobs.
But just playing with lights wasn't scratching my itch. Most concerts you go to theres a video playing on the screen but I wanted to interact with it, I wanted to PLAY the digital shapes with the notes of my instrument.
I found these things called "shaders":
These are pieces of code that procedurally generate visuals in real time. I can plug in audio from my microphones in and turn these into live, sound-reactive digital performance art pieces.
Try dragging your mouse across this ^ (might not work on a cell phone)
I've spent years refining custom software (w/ TouchDesigner) to run and customize shaders with my music, I sync up the colors from the LED lights and it sucks the audience into an interdimensional portal 🌀.
I really think it makes for a super psychedelic concert experience, the only downside is it 100% turns me into a super nerd, and eats a shit load of my time 😅
It's pretty hard to fully capture it on camera, but here's a live performance with the projector to give you an idea: