Tiny Budget, Big Effects

How do you make a performance by a laptop musician compelling? Eye-popping graphic design.

Electronic music is huge and growing in popularity, but the genre places an unusual demand on the actual artist: They make their money at live shows, but how interesting can a performance by someone tapping at their laptop possibly be? Who wants to pay to see that?

Increasingly, electronic musicians are turning to graphic and interactive designers, to pull in the crowds—and electronica shows are quickly becoming can't-miss live events, as Justice, Simian Mobile Disco, and, of course, Daft Punk have proven. But it doesn't have to be such a big-budget affair. Here's one of the freshest examples we've seen in recent months, a projection designed by Adam Guzman and Julia Tsao, for the performer Nosaj Thing:

The idea, according to Guzman and Tsao, was to turn the entire 3-D experience into a 2-D layout like you'd find in a magazine. You can see their work through the fall, on Nosaj Thing's club tour.

[Another Something via Today and Tomorrow]

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  • Jonas Buck

    Hey Cliff, thanks for sharing this. I really like it!
    Recently I saw a show of Daedelus and I was really amazed how we managed to actually highlight his process of digital music creation instead of applying an aesthetic afterwards.He is using a device (monome) that is a nice combination of a very minimal graphic representation of the music and in this case a live sequencer as well.
    This is the device


    And here is a short interview with Daedelus