Live coding set with sound reactive visuals (Ableton and videosync) - breaking the limits of nature


Trigger warning: flashing lights and violence

“Breaking the Limits of Nature” is an audiovisual performance that takes the audience on a sonic and visual journey through the natural and human-made environments. Using Sonic Pi and live coding, a narrative soundscape is created, ranging from the purity of nature to the overwhelming dominance of humanity.

The piece begins with gentle bird songs, whose natural beauty is brought to life through live sampling and editing. These sounds gradually develop into an increasingly unnatural and eerie soundscape. This transformation symbolizes the changing relationship between humans and nature.

The noise of humanity drowns out the natural/symbiotic atmospheric sounds of nature. Noises and the Amen break represent the violence and destruction that permeate our modern world. In this context, humanity stands for the destructive influence on the environment and its (sonic) pollution. The climax of the composition culminates in the self-destruction and extinction of humanity.

Despite the dark soundscape, a hint of beauty remains. This duality – the beautiful and the disturbing – reflects the complex reality of our environment. The performance is meant to remind us that even in times of destruction and change, fragments of the original idyll can endure and that the world without humans would be a more beautiful place.

“Breaking the Limits of Nature” is more than a performance. For me, it represents an acoustic mirror of our world. The rapidly changing images combined with stroboscopic light effects are meant to overwhelm the audience and pose a particular challenge during live coding.

The composition is intended to prompt the audience to pause and reflect on their own role and responsibility towards nature. The sounds and visual impressions invite them to immerse themselves in a world that both enchants and disturbs.

Signal Processing

I use the IAC Driver and Blackhole64 to route sounds and MIDI signals to Ableton, where I process them to switch effects on and off, as well as to trigger and display “Breaking,” “the limits,” and “of nature.” In doing so, I work with Videosync from Showsync in Ableton, but also with the stock plugins Audio/MIDI “Envelope Follower” and LFO.

hope you enjoyed it