"Computered Visions" is an audio-visual improvisation by Jacco Gardner using three vintage computers from the 1980s. Gardner has been listening to a lot of soundtracks that were made with a single synthesizer by artists like Mort Garson for example. Inspired by the idea of using one instrument for many compositional layers, while pushing the limitations within the instrument to create unique sounds.
Gardner uses an Atari ST generating MIDI data, running a music performance and compositions program called "M". A second Atari ST, running “Trip-A-Tron” a programmable light synthesizer. The third computer is a Roland S-330 sampler working as a sound engine. “Trip-A-Tron” is a light synthesizer written for the Atari ST Computer in 1987 and it was the first light synthesizer that could be directly connected and respond to musical input. With Trip-A-Tron the MIDI data can be sent to the sound module and the light synthesizer simultaneously. The light synthesizer interprets this MIDI data in the way it’s programmed to do by the artist. This makes it possible to visually represent musical input in real-time, such as pitch, velocity, volume, and tonality. The musical instrument becomes simultaneously a visual instrument.
“M” is a piece of generative MIDI composition software and it’s described as an intelligent musical instrument. A composing and performing program that stimulates your imagination. M’s powerful tools and musical controls let you work so quickly and interactively, that the line between composing and performing becomes blurred.
Using the three computers as tools allow Gardner to bring together several different worlds in real-time. Sound and Visual, and Performance and Composition. Compared to a human musician, the musical interactions with “M” are radically different while surprisingly organic at the same time. Experience the unfolding of music and visuals through improvisation with a magical and very adventurous feeling.