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As part of the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, the creative agency Saatchi & Saatchi presented the New Directors Showcase 2012 with a piece entitled ‘Meet Your Creator’. The project brought together the technical minds of Kmel Robotics, directors Marshmello Laser Feast and designers Sam & Arthur for the visual side of things, but what really piqued my interest was their choice of sound designer.
Saatchi and Saatchi commissioned Brooklyn synth artist Oneohtrix Point Never to compose a musical accompaniment to the display, which comprised sixteen ‘quadrotor’ robots flying in time to the music around a 3D light-box pyramid sculpture. The showcase was a stunning spectacle and Daniel Lopatin’s contribution to the piece has convinced me that if he were to develop this concept in the future, it would make for a glorious science fiction film soundtrack. What’s so interesting about it is how the music picks up on the ominous title and hypnotises us into a serenity that persuades us of the power of this mysterious Creator.
As a sound installation piece ‘Meet Your Creator’ is pretty far removed from the style of Lopatin’s own productions. He’s put his characteristically caustic and feedback-heavy drone interludes to one side to take the audience on a beguiling journey that has an altogether different emotional pull. We’re treated to a release of tension that’s not often found in Oneohtrix’s stunted pieces, and this release is a thrilling one. The score pulls together elements of futuristic neo-noir by invoking an affinity between human, machine and that ambiguous space between, and inviting us to experience something just out of our reach.
By guiding you through the transition between our world and an undefinable other, Lopatin explores a place where science and mysticism tentatively align, and where we feel quite uncertain about our place in the spectacle. Are we listening to the sounds of another world from afar, or is this world encroaching on us and we’re now unable to avoid it? It’s this uncertainty that builds throughout the piece and leaves us in awe of the possibility of the future, however dark and confusing it may be.
‘Meet Your Creator’ opens with a kick of hollow keys which playfully builds into a tense and scattered crescendo. As shards of lasers pulse and burst between the lines and the gateway to this other world begins to open for us, an ominous drone bellows out and knocks us off balance, leaving the keys to fight against one another for space. A tussle between the solid punch of piano and the glittering plumes of synth begins to play out and just as it threatens to pull it all apart and disrupt our journey into the ether, a sultry synth-line floats in from afar and put us at ease. The pulsing choral waves gradually pull each other higher and higher with a calming sensuality that eventually make you powerless against their influence and by its final movements, you feel as if the opening is now an ocean, and what fight you have in you eases and you willingly drown in its dark mass. This other world may still be unknown but Lopatin’s score really teases our emotions and makes us wonder what might lie in the darkness beyond.