as·phyx·i·a

Could you give yourself a brief introduction and tell us about what you do?

Maria Takeuchi aka ÉMU is a multidisciplinary musician/composer from Japan that enjoys collaborating with other artists to bring ideas to life and Frederico Phillips is a 3D artist from Portugal working mainly in the advertising business on projects that require Design / 3D in several mediums/platforms. We both work and live in New York.

How did the concept of the project was born?

as·phyx·i·a is meant to be an eloquent choreography that stresses the desire to be expressive without bounds and to represent the need for liberation.
There was a need to do something exploratory and experimental that satisfied our own curiosity and helped us answer some ‘what ifs’ and ideas we had previously contemplated. By allowing the physical back into the digital we had hoped the result would translate itself in a way people could relate to, even though it was fully computer generated.

The idea of marrying a beautiful choreographic piece with the latest developments of technology in a film is quite fresh and exciting. Did you have any particular inspiration behind it?

The visual representation of the character was tied with both the name of the project and to the choreography as it looked to convey of feeling of entrapment.
This project was very much about expression, whether that was through exploring new ways to do things visually or finding ways to combine our strengths in music, dance and visual art. The idea developed itself somewhat naturally as we had hoped for, we experimented a lot and really tried to manipulate the data and mood as we went.

How long did it take you to produce the final result? Was it a difficult journey to go trough?

It took us about 5/6 weeks to complete and the longest part was actually waiting for the rendered sequences(over 5000 frames) as we only had 5 computers rendering the whole project. There were many challenges as most of the tasks were new to us, such as finding suitable ways to combine and clean the data captured, producing a sound track that could help drive the visuals and coming up with a look that connected with the original concept or selecting aprox 3 minutes of performance from the original 30 minutes we captured.

How do you think the technology change the way people express themselves? Which new opportunities did it open in the field that you work at?

Technically speaking, we get really excited with opportunities that are made possible today with technology (kinect xbox one sensors) being widely available to mainstream and how that hardware can be used in ways they were not originally meant to. We can finally execute ideas that before were only possible with a high budget ( a motion capture studio in this case). The solutions are not perfect but as the resolution increases things are looking promising for these inexpensive sensors.
Technology is undeniably a strong part of art nowadays, it opens up the ways for artists to express themselves. For the music industry technology also is having a huge impact, allowing for artists to produce great songs without sometimes knowing how to play traditional instruments. These are great times to be an artist with the ability to cross over into different fields.

text: Tatiana Makrinova

Music and Direction : Maria Takeuchi
Visuals and Direction : Frederico Phillips
Performance Artist : Shiho Tanaka
Camera Filming / Support : Samuel Blalark
Camera equipment : Jason Guerrero

Categories: Art, Music
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