CONVERSATIONS | EIGENGRAU
Eigengrau events are quite the experience: utilizing music as an art form, combining it with other expressions of art and bringing it together in a club setting. After their last installment in March, they're currently readying for the upcoming event Saturday July 14th. They're inviting Birth Of Frequency over to hit the decks, but also made space for visual artist Correlate. We caught up with Eigengrau to hear about their philosophy, vision and expectations for the upcoming night.
How did you come up with the name Eigengrau?
We were looking for a name that would fit our sound as well as the picture. If you look it up eigengrau on the web, it literally defines a dark grey color. Since we found it very hard to stick to one particular sound we tried to visualize our sounds into a certain picture. Try to see it as a gradient we can adjust each edition, changing the event banner for a certain style of sound for instance. The phenomenon is referred to as "visual noise" or "background adaptation" because it is accompanied by perception of an ever-changing field of tiny black and white dots.
What kind of story are you trying to tell your audience?
At first we were studying what made a night in general so magical. Of course it is mostly the people that will turn up and the sounds that are played. But for us there was more going on. We have always been interested with dark sounds like dub-techno, ambient or electro. Atmospheric, hypnotic, melancholic. There can be so many dimensions. You feel the rhythmic aspect and the energy of the music physically, but the layering of music makes you feel an emotion. We find the rhythmic and obsessive part of electronic music interesting. It brings you into a trance in which you lose the perception of time and space and where you sometimes come close to yourself. A very pure feeling. Comparable to spending time on the water or in nature, and listening to the layering of sounds in your environment. This can be very shocking but at the same time alienating and perhaps frightening. It is a state of mind that we try to seek with our sound.
Eigengrau combines music with visual art, something we think is unique to the concept. What was the reason for combining these artforms?
It is about creating the experience and understanding the music from the artists. With these 2 elements we try to create both musical and visual stories. For us it is important that the visuals must be a parallel uniform for both sound and space to create and interprete the experience on your own. That is why our images are often not that concrete.
We think carefully of what kind of images would fit each edition. It ensures that multiple senses are stimulated so you may get more in to the moment before it is even there. Our whole concept is based on it. Also we combine the visual aspect with our artwork so that the artwork becomes a part of the complete story.
You seem to attach a central topic to the Eigengrau events. Last time you faced the unknown. What's it going to be this time around, July 14th?
The previous Radion edition was our debut at the club. One of our main focuses was to originate a story that would fit the picture and space of the venue. From the beginning we used the phrase ''Eigengrau is the uniform dark grey that many people report seeing in the absence of light''. So we decided to use that phrase in different contexts. This time will be our second phase of facing the unknown and we can focus more on how we are going to translate things like exhibiting art installations, using the structure of the building and not to forget our visuals.
How is this represented in both the music, the visuals & the venue?
Last edition we had Jason Drenth over from Canada. He supported every dj set with different images of his own. For the upcoming event it is Correlate who will be accompanying us, we have been working with them for a while now. They work with old and newschool technologies and they create endless interesting videos with interesting results. Their performances are based on experimenting and innovating with the analogue and digital realms. They blend with (live) music, installations and other art forms. They are also really informed with our concept and understand the sound from the artists point of view.
Our artwork must also fit the image and the stories we like to tell each edition. Christian Edward creates our designs and complements us very well. We started with a huge image bank of inspiration and worked ourselves upwards from there. The key words for the conceptualization of the Eigengrau artworks were greyscale, composition, darkness, white noise, decay, abstract minimalism and open to interpretation. We wanted to let go of the idea of an image as a solid carrier and wanted to speak to the spectator's imagination in a more autonomous way, by doing what they themselves saw: not image but imagined.
Preview visuals from Correlate and editing credits by Christian Edward
Artwork form previous events [click to enlarge]
Catch the vibe explained above Saturday July 14th.