The Rhythm of Life Gets an Audio-Visual Overhaul in New Music Video

Ancient organisms ebb and flow to electronic beats in this, the most recent offering from Paris-born, Paris-raised, NYC-based Vincent Houzé. This media designer and developer’s animated music video for electronica and techno producer Max Cooper‘s track Seed, from his 2016 Emergence album, has us contemplating cosmic, ancestral rhythms.

Vincent’s focus from last time we caught up on interactive movement is channelled this time around into depicting the pulsing dance of early organisms, flowing in perfect synch with Max’s dreamy beats and the stripped-back vocals of Katherin deBoer.

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It is part of Max’s broader Emergence series, one generating unique audiovisual representations of key moments in the “”the story of natural laws and processes” over time.

“Making a world come to life with music is something I have been experimenting with, and this was a perfect opportunity.”

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His background in computer science and graphic design is obvious in Seed, in which his characteristic exploration of modern computer graphic techniques is used to full effect, in garish colour.

The Plus: Your digital art is heavily influenced by a scientific look at nature. What is it about this that inspires your work?
Vincent Houzé:
I studied a lot of mathematics and physics before I got into digital art and it’s always fascinating to me how a relatively small number of scientific concepts and rules are shaping all of the world surrounding us, on all kind of scales, from very small to huge.

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TP: Tell us about your latest video, Seed. What gave you the inspiration for creating a video where early life dances to the beat of the music?
VH:
The song has a very organic and serene feel and I wanted the different audio parts to be the lifeblood of the world I was creating.
When Max reached out, I was increasingly interested by strange underwater life forms, and how magical they feel, stumbling on some great footage such as the movies created by the coral morphologic collective.

TP: Could you take us through this process?
VH:
The underwater and early life style creatures and plants were modeled algorithmically from a few simple rules found in nature. This echoes the title of the song, Seed, in that small, benign looking seeds give birth to so many different life forms. Also, in a more abstract way, in computer programs, what is called a seed is used to initialize a new stream of random numbers, and that played a central role in how the plants, creatures and landscapes were created.

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TP: What software do you use? And how long did the project take, from start to finish?
VH:
I used two pieces of software: Houdini for the rule based modeling of the various creatures and plants, and Touch Designer for the animation and rendering, with a lot of custom programming for the physics based animations.

TP: Your art is helped by science; in what ways more generally do you think science is helped by art?
VH:
Art can bring awareness to a bigger audience on a lot of very relevant scientific topics nowadays, like all the environmental issues. Art can be very inspirational, too, and I’m sure it plays an important role inspiring leading scientists around the world.

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TP: If you had one piece of advice to give to aspiring digital artists, what would it be?
VH:
Digital art has a tendency to rely heavily on new technologies, so my main advice would be not to get to caught up in the tools and technology, and instead focus on what ones wants to convey.

TP: What’s the next collaboration you are looking to work on?
VH:
I am always interested in collaborating with artists from different horizons and different crafts, of course musicians are a good match, but I am also very fascinated by dance and the human motion and that would be something I’d love to explore more in relation to digital arts.

TP: What sort of message did you and Max want to put across with this video? How did you choose the visuals for the song?
VH:
In Max’ own words, the goal, which I shared, was “to point us towards the beauty of natural processe and systems, and their links to how we feel. The feeling conveyed also makes me think of the fragility of these systems, in light of the bleaching of many reefs in recent times, by rising sea temperatures.”

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