An enlightening interview with Lumisokea

Nov 22, 2012 |  by  |  Art, Music
About the author
Art director, designer and photographer in the virtual world. What's in a name.

I visited Lumisokea couple of weeks ago, a Belgian-Italian DJ duo. In the bunker in North I was taken on a journey, submerged in deep bass, dub and noise… A friend of mine described it as Zen-terror. All created live on stage. Their show is beautifully enlightened by two lights behind the DJs which slowly move in different geometrical shapes. A real interesting experience, especially when the light touches your face or body which really made you part of the show.

How long did it take you to prepare for and experiment with this show?
“We started working with visual artist Yannick Jacquet, aka Legoman, in June 2012 during a four-day residency in Het Kievitsnest, a desecrated church in Antwerp. Before that we had already extensively discussed ideas, and Yannick had prepared the technicalities of projecting visuals onto smoke. The following months we rehearsed several times, finding a balanced live set, connecting the visuals and the music and resolving technical issues. So the preparation took five to six months, although the live set in a continuing process of refinement: every show, every rehearsal we discover adjustments that could make the show as a whole even stronger.”

What were the difficulties? If there were any.
“Besides the technical difficulties of projecting images onto smoke (room needs to be pitch black
and without ventilation, which tends to be an issue in an old church with broken windows) there’s the general difficulty of finding the right visuals for this music. How concrete or abstract do we want the visuals to be? How do we ‘connect’ the visuals to the music: through audio-reactivity, with a storyline, or not at all? To resolve this, Yannick developed the simple but highly effective idea of projecting slowly developing beams of light into a pitch black room filled with smoke. In contrast with most visuals
used at musical performances, these moving shapes do not seek to add a certain meaning or concrete imagery to Lumisokeaʼs music.”

These shapes rather function as a hypnotic focal point and a way to relieve the audience from the boundaries of the performance space, made possible through the use of the tactile and illusory qualities of light projected onto smoke.

How did you end up with the name Lumisokea?
“We came across this word on a Mika Vainio (Finnish musician/composer) record called …In the land of the Blind when looking for a band name, and we liked the sound of the word. It means snow blind in Finnish, which works well with Lumisokea’s music since it has this paradoxical connection between light & darkness: being blinded by too much light.”

What is the act to look out for if you’re into your kind of performances?
“In terms of music the live performances of Shackleton, Mika Vainio, Emptyset and Keith Fullerton Whitman come highly recommended. Also, although it’s more connected to the dance floor, a dub night in a dark space with a good sound system is quite similar to what we try to achieve as a live act. There used to be this organization in town called Lockdown, that organised fantastic parties in abandoned buildings. But I guess that’s over now. For audiovisual installations & performances the artists connected to the AntiVJ label are the ones to look out for.”

Their next show will be in the Vondelbunker on December 2nd. If you’re in for a different kind of journey, I’ll see you there.


Where: Vondelbunker, Vondelpark 8 (in the bridge)
When: December 2nd
Website: Schijnheilig/Vondelbunker

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