Today, Max Cooper has finally unveiled its new ultimate album – One Hundred Billion Sparks – where each track emphasizes the aesthetics of the visual story underlying it. The album is named after our brain, in honor of hundreds of billions of neurons that make us who we are. And each composition tries to comprehend and convey through music what is so close to all of us – our feelings and emotions. The musician for a month pulled away from contacts with people, including through the Internet.
At the heart of almost every clip of Max is a certain idea. Cooper constantly collaborates with mathematicians, physicists and visual artists in an attempt to explain a phenomenon through music and video. For example, take the project Molten Landscapes. Together with mathematician Cornus Ammonis, a music video was created, based on Alan Turing’s attempts to explain and mathematically simulate living systems. Such systems create layers of substances that interact with each other and deform. The resulting visual effect helps to complete the image of an alien planet with an unknown form of geological process – melting landscapes. This is an extremely slow hypnotic visual process, the music for which is created appropriately – a repeating syncopated two-note motif that plays under the slowly developing layers of chords.
Another project – Resynthesis – offers the listener to look at the time from a new angle: what if we stretch out the past and present it as a physical object, to which we look from a new perspective, throwing away all the limitations of measurement, in which people are accustomed to perceive the world.
One of Max’s most interesting works is the track Order From Chaos, created for his past concept album Emergence. Raindrops pounded the rhythm over the glass ceiling of his old apartment, and Cooper decided to get a microphone and record these sounds, which eventually formed the basis of the entire track, which is the most accurate representation of the idea of the whole album. The rhythm of the track appeared absolutely accidentally (emergent) from the natural chaos – rain. All the drums in the tracks are compared with the sounds of drops, and the Samsun is superimposed on the resulting rhythm.
The video begins with raindrops, which eventually transform into simple geometric forms, showing the important idea of co-operation between simple cells to form more reliable colonies of life. All this is a visualization of the process of symbiogenesis, in which small organisms can live inside large cells, building up parts of one large organism in which both sides will be dependent on each other.
But Cooper is not limited to computer graphics alone. For the track Music Of the Tides, liquid crystals were recorded under a microscope. Liquid crystals have simultaneous properties of both liquid and crystal. Visual images in the video are created because of the deformation of the structure of matter and the refraction of light.
One hundred billion sparks
Hope , one of the first tracks of the album, tries to show the molecular mechanism that shapes our sensations. The video connects our sense of hope with the travel of ions through a neural membrane, an infinitely small part of the most complex machine, where each particle, driven by an electrochemical gradient, tends to its own destination. Of course, this is not a biologically accurate simulation, but a dramatically dramatic version of one of our fundamental processes.
As a musician, Cooper sought to create an honest translation of the feeling of hope in the language of music. The experience of failures in real life is combined with our ability to represent something better, something we will believe in.
The fourth track, Rule 110 , tells about the Turing Machine . Such an abstract machine can perform any calculations. Continuing the theme of the album, Max uses the very convincing argument of David Deutsch that our brain is nothing more than a universal computer.
Visual aesthetics is based on the study of cellular automata . Stephen Wolfram in 2002 described that the simplest models of cellular automata, creating blocks of binary color on the basis of simple rules, can create rich forms of behavior in their growth models and even produce turing-complete systems. After a systematic study of the simplest possible rules governing duplicate cells, Rule 110 is the first rule that displays the Turing-completeness.
What does the essence of thought look like? From a mathematical point of view, perhaps it looks like this.
The eleventh track, Lovesong, is very simple, but at the same time personal and meaningful for all dedicated listeners. Initially, it was planned to tie the video to the image of an abstract person, but a very interesting idea arose-to enable each person to send his photo, which would fill the overall picture for the visual series.
The video for the Lovesong track is a global portrait, woven from the life moments of hundreds of people, their photos and memories.