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A Sensible Musical Performance

The Sensible Musical Performance was the result of connecting the audience with the actions of the musician on stage.

Interactive Designer and Musician, Julie Bjørnskov is developing new ways of performing live electronic music. She does this by simultaneously writing and performing music, so the audiences can experience it before it reaches its final form. The video is an experiment where she’s developing one of her compositions by playing various live musical elements.

The live performance of electronic music is a hard art to master. Often the audience cannot see what the musician is doing on the stage. All the buttons are small and in most part look the same – overall, not visually appealing. The Touch Board technology has given this artist an opportunity to create her own way of performing her music.

Julie used the Touch Board to design her own MIDI instruments, instead of using commercially available midi controllers and keyboards. She hooked it up to control her Ableton Live setup, where she composes her music.

As part of the composition, she has decided which effects, sounds and samples the outputs of the Touch Board are connected to. Alongside that, she has made a connection between Ableton Live and the VJ program Resolume, so she can control her visuals as well.

The Touch Board gives her the possibility to experiment. She can find forms and materials that best express the different sounds she uses in her music and creates a more ‘sensible musical experience’. For her, it is a new way of exploring the music she produces and bringing it to life through different materials.

She often illustrates figures using conductive paint, but she also uses other conductive materials, such as metal, leaves, fruit and so on.

She has, in a way, created her own new visual language, where she can connect the sound of a synthesizer with a symbol. For example, attaching a sound to a big gold leaf brings to the life the leaf and adds a physical dimension to the sound.

Julie is fascinated by the way the Touch Board works, as it’s really intuitive to use, and you can easily try out different things and change materials. This makes it possible to easily change everything and make each live performance completely unique.

It makes sense for electronic musicians to work on their live performance because it’s a challenge that challenges their improvisation skills

When performing live, Julie feels that the audience is more present, because it’s easier for her to include them in what is happening and tease their curiosity. In the future, she hopes she can make live performances where the audience has an active role in making the music.

Besides using the Touch Board in her musical life, Julie uses it to create big interactive installations in Luftkys. In Luftkys they question how new technologies affect human behaviour and emotions through installation, performance, video and sound.

In her electro-pop band, Got No Filter, they have also started experimenting with using the Bare Conductive technology for their live concerts in cooperation with their synthesizers and drum machines.

Images & Video: Julie Bjørnskov

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