Clemens Habicht
LAURENCE PIKE

Drum Chant is a performance video in which each layer of the track visually represented in a simple graphic language of increasing colour.

"Watching Laurence perform I found myself focusing on the round white mallet ends as if they were objects all of their own, separated from their sticks they became bouncing balls feverishly racing over the drums in a frenzy made all the more astonishing by their impossible precision at such speed."

Created using simple chroma key effects to isolate the motion of the instrument elements the result is an uncanny visualisation with animation-like charm.

Nero is an evolution of the motion capture principle of ‘Drum Chant’ using a digital methodology. In collaboration with the University of Technology Sydney, Laurence was filmed in a motion capture arena with motion trackers selectively placed on his instrument and body in multiple passes. A virtual camera travels a track through musical phrases rendered as physical landmarks in time along the path. Although Laurence’s motion is reduced to an abstraction of flat colour ellipses, their movements and synchronicity renders them recognisable as his performance.

A separate parallel interactive video allows introduces the ability to dynamically manipulate a user’s angle of observation, challenging the recognition of the performing figure.

Watch the making of Nero here.