Eric G has been performing live visuals for over 10 years now. Influenced heavily by the scene in southeast Michigan in the late 1990's, Eric set out to emulate and improvise upon the structures of electronic dance music. Eric G joined Merkaba visuals in 2001 at the invitation of Trevor, Cudra and Brian, who had been doing events in Chicago and the midwest for years, working alongside greats like Alibi and the legendary OVT. Merkaba was a unified collective until 2004, when Cudra and Trevor departed for the greener pastures of Maui. Performance material is still shared, but Eric G has been the primary force behind Merkaba visuals in Chicago since then. Eric G's work has always been process based, and has now reached a vast plateau where performance hardware/software, prime content and acquired technique allow for wide exploration and experimentation with the goal of pushing the form forward and making every event memorable. Merkaba has accompanied noted national and international musicians at festivals and has also expanded into theatrical video design. Eric G is a signed artist represented as Merkaba visuals via the multimedia label known as Psymbolic.


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Merkaba Visuals performed to a live set by The Great Mundane


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Merkaba visuals performed to a live set by The Great Mundane on November 21, 2009 at Living Sundays in Chicago.





A fine night it was, we came ready to record hours of original material. These are strong 4 minute segments, suitable for online viewing. Performance visuals are a challenging form to document, as they are embedded in the vibe and momentum of the night, the chemistry between the artists and the crowd, the scale of the live projection and the mass of a big sound system. The fluidity and indefinite duration of a performance is also impossible to convey in web videos, compressed in scale and klipped out of time. But, like photographic documentation of sculpture or dance, you can hopefully get a sense of what we were up to.

I was playing SD downsamples of my 1600x800 8:3 klips, and SinR8 was digitizing the mix via a DAC into his hackintosh.

VDMX beta 7.4.5 gave off a little weirdness, when an interface window refused to update itself, but playout was unaffected. Very few gremlins for such a deep, expandable performance software, but they do like to appear at the venue for some reason.

These A/V segments are all straight, no realtime effects or audio reactive inputs, just like I used to do it in GRID.

 



Merkaba visual live sets from 2006 now up on Youtube


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After only 3 years, I've finally ripped, re-encoded and uploaded some choice sets from 2006 to my merkabaVJ YouTube page.

It was after 2 years of the Abstract Science residency at Sonotheque, and we all were really steady in the groove. Chris Widman and Dave Siska were bringing great artists every month: I really enjoyed the set with Atomly especially. The thing with Future Music is, it can be 3 years later, and the stuff still sounds fresh, even if it is more familiar now to more people.

Here's a nicely synched visual mix to a DJ set by Chris Widman


This visual mix to the music by Dave Siska was all done with Grid from Vidvox, 2 DVD players, mediated by a V4 from Edirol. No realtime effects at this time, all basically edits, cuts, with a fair bit of luma-key overlays.


We have now reached cruising altitude with this visual mix to the music of Atomly

Hearing this stuff massive on Sonotheque's Funktion 1 system is incredible: the bass can vibrate the clothes on your body, the high end is incredibly crisp and present, yet you can converse without yelling.

The visual material is more accessible than the older drum-n-bass stuff I have up on my YouTube page - but Merkaba visuals is all about covering an extremely wide range of styles - there are some more wild d-n-b sets from that time that are on the way . . . in a month or three.

On the merkabaVJ YouTube page for review are a few VJ faux pas in there, but live sets are rarely flawless, and the little gremlins served as reminders not to do some of that stuff anymore.
[ahem - V4 quad-symmetry]



Every 10 seconds, 314 new blogs are created


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...and on these blogs, dubious statistics are cited, sometimes even in the title.

Like, for example, every ten minutes, the world community of live visualists, VJ's, create 159 new klips for use in their sets.

22% percent of these klips are found to kinda suck, and so are never played out, but between 5 and 9% have something about them that makes them versatile and strong, and they always get dropped.

So, thanks for checking out my very first musings on the state of performance visuals.

Let me tell you, it will get better from here, it has to. Because all the statistics above, I completely made up.

But I've been making and playing live visuals for a while now, and future posts from me will bear the stamp of some Deep Thought, allright?

Thanks in advance, as they say.



Merkaba visuals signed to Psymbolic


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Please welcome Eric G. the process based visual artist from Chicago known as Merkaba visuals.

Stay Tuned to future news from Merkaba visuals.