Monday, June 09, 2014

Monolake Live at Ego Düsseldorf June 5 1999

Monolake is a collaborative project, founded in 1995 by Robert Henke and Gerhard Behles, who stopped being an active member in 1999 due to his involvement with Ableton. Monolake became a solo project of Robert Henke, with occasional support by Torsten Pröfrock / T++, most notable for the CD release Polygon Cities (2006). As a studio project Monolake is defined as an "'open project'", led by Robert Henke but potentially open for other collaborators as well. Since 2009 Monolake Live performances have a visual component created by Dutch artist Tarik Barri. In the 1990 Gerhard Behles and Robert Henke developed a Max based sequencer application called 'PX-18', which allowed them to perform improvised, pattern based electronic dance music concerts. The basic concept for the Monolake performances since then is the ability to switch between different states or patterns in real-time and adding expression by altering the sound those patterns trigger or contain. The concept later became popular as 'Session View' in their Ableton Live music software. In order to be able to gain more haptic control and more intuitive access to structure and sound, Henke started building MIDI controllers (Monodeck, Monodeck II) and explores the possibilities of touch surfaces (iPad) for musical interaction. Since early 2009 Monolake Live performances explore surround sound and also include a visual component by Dutch artist Tarik Barri. During the concerts, Barri is navigating in realtime through an imaginary 3D landscape using his own software, 'Versum'. In 2010 Henke and Barri were granted a residency at EMPAC, Troy to develop a Monolake Live performance with 24 audio channels in a dome arrangement, paired with six channels of video. This is a live recording, captured at Ego club in Düsseldorf, June 5 1999. The music has been created with a self written step sequencer, the PX-18, controlling a basic sample player and effects engine, all done in MaxMSP, running on a Powerbook G3. The step sequencer had some unique features, e.g. the ability to switch patterns independently in each track, which later became an important part of a certain music software.

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