Tales of Entropy

Tales of Entropy

Tales of Entropy with Roméo Poirier is an audiovisual performance based on generative music production, polarised light microscopy and computer vision. This 30 min show merges analog and digital creation tools, proposing a sensitive exploration of the structures of organic matter, under the prism of bold musical expressionism.

A microscope on stage visualises a series of laboratory samples and takes the audience for a stroll in an hypnotic visual landscape, exploring different states of matter. As the temperature of the different samples change in a thermal oven, the matter transforms and passes from liquid, to liquid crystal, to crystal, displaying striking color patterns under polarised light.

This live scientific experiment is recorded by an UHD camera and choreographies of colourful structures are projected on stage, creating profound visuals with a powerful abstract narration.

The use of computer vision tools allows to extract different data from the microscope feed (colours, textures, motions) and transform them into meaningful signals, which are sent to Roméo Poirier and used on the go to produce generative music.

Roméo Poirier works in an hybrid analog and digital music production environment, choosing the depth of the impact of the signals on different musical tools, thus creating a personal musical interpretation of the transformations of matter as they happen. The music of the performance aims at reflecting the contrasts and the textures of the different samples, oscillating between atmospheric landscapes, broken vocal samples, warm ambient cocoons and thunderstorms.

Production of the visuals
Guillaume Schweicher (Ohme Academia) & Nicolas Klimis (Ohme Studio)

Tales of Entropy uses a polarised light microscope and a UHD camera combined with a thermal oven to be able to follow the emergence of crystals and to control phase transitions and liquid crystal orientations in a creative way. The image comes from a physical area of the samples of only 1 mm length.

This leads to dynamic scientific visuals, which are not encoded on a computer, but are evolving, analogue live images of organic compounds under thermodynamic transitions.

Due to the physics of the system, theses moving images vary from one performance to the other creating each time unique patterns, that are partially deterministic and partially stochastic.

The visuals captured by the camera (4K) are projected on a screen in front projection, depending on the possibilities of the venue.

Different molecules in the performance Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry (ULB)

Thanks to a close collaboration with the Laboratory of Polymer Chemistry (LCP-ULB), we have access to a rich series of organic compounds presenting different crystal and liquid crystal phases, presenting different colours and patterns under polarised light. This allows to produce a large diversity of visual abstractions and powerful transformations.

For Tales of Entropy with Roméo Poirier, we work with 3 to 4 molecules that have very different behaviours upon heating and cooling and which features are reflected in the dramaturgy of the generative music produced.

The performance is then logically divided in different chapters presenting different abstract languages in connection with the music of Roméo Poirier.

Computer Vision 
François Bronchart (Ohme Lab)

The use of computer vision tools allows us to process the data from the microscope video stream and transforms it into meaningful signals.

Different algorithms (shape and event detection, fourier transform, statistical analysis, etc.) allow us to extract data on colours, textures, motion or the presence and position of certain patterns happening live inside the thermal oven.

The signals are then sent via an OSC protocol to Roméo Poirier and are used for the generative production of the music.

Some of these computations are shown as they happen to the audience on side screens to raise their interest on specific features of the image and on the general functioning of the performances.

Generative Music Production
Roméo Poirier

Roméo Poirier works in an hybrid analog and digital music production environment, choosing the depth of the impact of the signals on different musical tools, thus creating a personal musical interpretation of the transformations of matter as they happen.

The music of performance aims at reflecting the contrasts and the textures of the different samples, oscillating between atmospheric landscapes, heavily processed vocal samples, warm orchestral fragments, thunderstorms and passing shadows of dissonance.

The artistic intention is providing a counterpoint with the sound from the images, while being dictated by them, elaborating a parallel narration.

His set-up is made of an analog modular system and a computer processing multifarious digital signals.

Tales of Entropy – photographic series
Tales of Entropy – Live AV show

This recording of the first iteration at Pilar brings together live microscopic images from Guillaume Schweicher with the deep and emotional ambient soundscapes of Brussels-based artist Juanita, under the artistic direction of Nicolas Klimis.

Tales of Entropy is an ongoing project that has been presented in live AV show with different musicians and composers, such as LB Marszalek (fka Juanita), Boho Strings, La Reine Seule, and Romeo Poirier

Credits:

Conception and realisation: Guillaume Schweicher, Nicolas Klimis

Computer vision: François Bronchart

Music : First iteration, Juanita | Second iteration, Boho Strings | Third iteration, La Reine Seule | Fourth iteration, Romeo Poirier

Coproduced by the Laboratoire de Chimie des Polymères (ULB)

Presentations:

First iteration: Pilar ASAP – OHME Unframed: Fluidity Edition | 23 October 2020 

Second iteration: La Vallée, Brussels | 15th May 2021

Third iteration: I Love Science Festival, Brussels | 16 – 17 October 2021  • Museum Night Fever, Halles St Géry, Brussels | 23 October 2021  •  Atelier 210, Brussels | 23 November 2023

Sine

Sine is an interactive audiovisual lecture-performance illustrating, from the point of view of the physicist and the musician, the way in which electronic music producers envision sound and compose music.
Starting from a simple sine, the lecture performance elaborates on sound physics, synthesis and electronic music production. Four members of the public, randomly picked, are invited on stage to interact and play along during the whole performance. 

Sine articulates in three main parts. In the first part, starting from a simple sine wave, we explain step by step how we could sum these waves, filter them, manipulate them in order to achieve the 3 main sounds used in the composition of electronic music: kick, the snare and hi-hat. The explanations are carried out step by step, and each time are illustrated by examples where the public can take control of a sound parameter to illustrate its properties in the genesis of sound.

Once the different sounds and basic effects are illustrated and presented, the show enters a more musical phase, culminating in a guitar hero style game leading to final composition during which the public has the opportunity to apply effects and create music together.

Sine is a creation by François Gaspard, engineer and musician, and Boris Wilmot, motion graphic designer and digital artist.

Concept: François Gaspard & Boris Wilmot
Visuals: Boris Wilmot
Music: François Gaspard
Educational content: François Gaspard
Controller design and production: Shakmat & Aiko Design
Lighting design: KMCréations
Consultant in writing and directing: David Scarpuzza

Presentations:

Nuits Sonores Brussels | Pilar | 16 October 2022
Perspectives Satellite Programme | Halles St Géry | 3 December 2021
Order of Operations | Bozar | June-July 2021
Les Garages Numériques Festival | La Bourse / De Beurs | 9 November 2019
Printemps des Science 2019 | 22 March 2019
MTC Music & Technology Corner | Brussels Electronic Marathon BEM 2018 | 13 October 2018
Bozar Lab | 21 – 25 March 2018 (Première)

Follow Sine on Facebook.

Check out the live tracks composed by participants during previous events on Youtube.

Produced by Ohme with the support of Innoviris, Féderation Wallonie-Bruxelles, Bozar Lab and Pilar.

Hack a factory

Hack a factory | Mekanika

An interaction performance about our daily objects

Hacking, the practice of dissecting (or cutting – to hack) a system to better understand it and possibly modify it, is at the centre of new DIY (Do It Yourself), maker and prototyping movements in general. Hacking is also a way of thinking, of designing, used frequently in industrial design.

Hack a Factory is an interactive performance inviting the participants to be at the centre of an active experience reproducing the manufacturing processes of a factory.

How do materials are processed to become objects? How does an industrial chain work, from molding to packaging? By breaking down industrial processes, Hack a Factory is a ludic experience that unveils the behind the scenes of production while informing about chemistry, technology and the impact of mass production.

Hack a Factory is the product of an artistic-scientific residency between Maxime Gravet, engineer in mechatronics and Martin Duchêne, industrial designer.

 

Credits:
Conception and realisation: Maxime Gravet & Martin Duchene
Engineering & narrative: Maxime Gravet
Design & narrative: Martin Duchene
Stage assistant: Audrey Gravet

Presentation: Printemps des Science (ULB) 21-25 March 2018

Argumenter en démocratie

Rhetoric in democracy

Rhetoric as a citizenship exercise

Presented at the Brass’Art Digitaal Café in Molenbeek, this educational and artistic performance highlights a scientific discipline that is too rarely presented as such: rhetoric and the science of language.

Participants get to know each other by learning storytelling techniques through the sharing of anecdotes. They then practice the greatest challenge of rhetoric: paradoxical praise. It is about making beautiful and desirable what is generally considered ugly and shameful. By practicing this exercise, they develop a technical perspective on how the media make and break reputations, with a look of attention on the Molenbeek district and its media representation.

The objective of this workshop is to refine our democratic skills by providing everyone with a toolbox for public speaking but also to develop a more critical view of major social issues. The challenges of the workshop also allow participants to gain confidence in expressing their points of view.

The performance is the product of an experimental artistic-scientific residency between the GRAL (Research Group in Rhetoric and Linguistic Argumentation of the ULB) and David Scarpuzza, actor and director from Brussels.

Credits:
– Conception and realisation: Group GRAL ULB & David Scarpuzza
– Direction & acting: David Scarpuzza
– Scientific Direction: Group GRAL ULB

Presentation:
Printemps des Science at Brass’Art Digitaal Café  21-25 March 2018

Light Dance Performance

Light Dance Performance

IInitially commissioned by La Revue de l’ULB, the production of EL wires suits for a light and dance show was the first Ohme’s experiment in this 100% self-produced direction. This multidisciplinary project was a nice opportunity to create synergies with a large number of experts in many diverse fields: many people with various expertises (dancers, stylists, electronics engineers, musical producers, coders, choreographers, etc) have been involved.
Each costume is made up of 8 EL wires remote-controlled over a wireless Zigbee network and designed on a MIDI track in Ableton Live.
The used technologies make this performance very modular and adaptable to many contexts. It has been performed in educational situations or tech fairs as well as for celebrations or charitable events.

Credits:
– Project management: Raoul Sommeillier
– Technology & engineering: Raoul Sommeillier & Maxime Looverie
– Costume design: Mélissa Mana
– Costume production: Malorie Fauconnier, Valentine Hogge, Camilla Colombo, Céline Cauwert, Nicolas Klimis, Maxime Gravet, Jean Rosenfeld, Rémi Genon & Raoul Sommeillier
– Choreography: Gabrielle Michaux & Thomas Defoin
– Dancers: Camille Collard, Céline Paula, Natacha Nabet, Jérémie Kamay Mpoyo & Hossine Maghfour
– Aftermovie: Kradukman production (Guillaume Dauphin) & Gabba production (Gilles Bastin)
– Sound mix and MIDI encoding: Thomas Defoin, Gabrielle Michaux & Raoul Sommeillier
– Tracks: Usher – Yeah, Eva Simone – Guaya, Malaa – Notorious, Worakls – Question Réponse, Rihanna (Royal Family Remix) – Bitch Better Have My Money

Presentations:
La Revue de l’ULB | 28 February 2019 (Première)
Université des Enfants | 26 May 2019
Relais pour la Vie BXL | 12 October 2019