Constant motion, moving forward, a horizontal development: those are attributes of ECM’s music which founder Manfred Eicher is especially proud of. This horizontal thinking sets his productions apart from a large portion of today’s music which is more to be understood in a vertical way, state by state.

The audio-visual piece “Flow” by Lars Ullrich and Mathis Nitschke for the exhibition RE:ECM at Storage by Hyundai Card in Seoul, 2019, lets the visitor experience this horizontal thinking by involving the visitor into a visualization of the inner movement of the currently playing music.

On the screen, so-called particle systems generate a continuous stream of 3D objects in various forms. The choice of forms, their impulse, their distribution and their speed of movement are selected on the basis of a physical 3D engine, whose parameters are automatically tuned to the music currently being played. By creating an abstract landscape from the music, the visitor can explore its fluid dynamics and be part of its organic behavior: The listener is literally drawn into the music.

Seven repeating visualization styles are applied to nine repeating music tracks. So, over time, you can see each visualization style reacting to each music track.

The selection of music tracks represents the variety and contrast of ECM’s catalogue. Next to historic landmark recordings like the ones with Bennie Maupin, Paul Bley or Arvo Pärt, more recent pieces are selected. Also present here is a recording of Bruno Ganz reciting a poem by Friedrich Hölderlin which marks an interesting radicalization of the horizontal development idea: Even in language the musical forward motion can be found.

Related