Fat Butcher's Photosonica
North London V-tard splicing beauty to the beats

After the Ice @ Monto Water Rats

Last night I stood in the dark and watched some phenomenal new bands blow the roof off at Monto Water Rats. Rock beasts After the Ice had approached me with an exciting comission: could I create a 30 minute set using the oil paintings of frontman Paul Lisak?

Paul currently has a portrait of the band’s bassist Hamza competing in the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery. His current work reflects some of the friction caused by multiculturalism in the UK and uses classical and baroque motifs to express contemporary conflict, demonstrating that while the clothes and faces change, the inherent violence of human nature has remained the same. This was a really fun project as Paul’s work is remarkably accomplished, evocative of Caravaggio in places, and his extensive use of dramatic chiaroscuro allowed me to recreate and isolate his work against black without changing the appearance or meaning too drastically. The band gave me carte blanche on an enormous archive of canvases and we discussed ideas constantly over the design period, as the aim was to take the work into the third and fourth dimensions (depth and time) without distorting them beyond recognition, whilst complementing the 7 song set.

This was my first gig using VDMX, a clever piece of software which enables you to effectively construct your own interface with outstanding results. Widescreen hi-def succulence, zero delay between laptop and backdrop, and nothing on your screen but what you need. AtI’s set covered intense soundscapes, soaring rock riffs and moving balladry so the 25 new clips I produced had to run the gamut, both in their design and the way they were triggered/produced live.

The event was filmed on three cameras by Let’s Do Media, so I’ll be linking to their footage as soon as it’s up. The other stand-out act was Riot Lights; noisy, intense, authentic, angry and fun indie punk. My thanks to Nicolas at Tizcam Music and the floor staff at Monto for all their help making this show happen.

2 Responses to “After the Ice @ Monto Water Rats”

  1. thanks Ed for your work. how ever it is a dificult one to place that art in a set. it must be improved, and anyway has to be more clear that it is paintings what we see there. a great challenge to make it work together.
    best, nicolas. by the way, check on monday a new video we are going to upload, about the london bombings in 2005. very direct and yet very powerfull. hope you enjoy it.

  2. Glad you liked the set. It was a challenge but a fun one, and Paul and I went over it yesterday in the studio and talked about the direction he wants to take the show. Thanks for the heads-up about the video, look forward to seeing it.

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