Smomid Audio/Visual Evolution
This artwork is a movie by Nick Demopoulos, who is a musician and technologist. The movie features three different performance works. The first part is a cover of “Hello” by Lionel Ritchie. This is performed with a custom made MIDI controller called a Smomid, or String Modeling Midi Device, which is incidentally the name of Nick’s audio/visual project, and a Raspberry Pi computer for generating audio. In this segment, superimposed onto the video footage, are screen shots of the design process and evolution of some of Nick’s musical instruments, including the Smomid, Pyramidi, and another instrument that is in the process of being developed. The next part of this movie is an audio visual performance that uses the Hindu image of the Sri Yantra as it’s inspiration. The visual part of this segment is created with the Processing programming language, and the audio portion is created with Max software. The last part of this movie is another audio/visual performance using an instrument Nick designed called a Pyramidi. For this segment the audio is made with the open source software called Pure Data and the visual component was made with Touchdesigner.
Smomid is a project by Nick Demopoulos, who is a performer, musician and instrument builder. Smomid only utilizes instruments he has designed and built to perform interactive computer music. The name is an acronym of his primary instrument: “String Modeling Midi Device.” Smomid music often features glitchy and scattered beats, sampling, abstract textures, ambient spaces, and improvisation. Smomid music draws on many varied influences and creates bizarre juxtapositions with deft sonic versatility, with heavy beats, Gregorian Monks chanting and Taiko drum sounds all coexisting comfortably. After listening to several Smomid tracks one gets the impression that anything is possible and that all sound universes can coexist. One thing that doesn’t come across in an audio transmission is that there is also a visual aspect to Smomid Music.
All the instruments emit light through high powered LEDs, and some illuminate visual animations through several LED displays embedded in the instruments. Additionally video animations are being controlled by Smomid interfaces and are often present in live performances as projections or on a video monitor. As a guitarist Nick Demopoulos worked with NEA jazz master Chico Hamilton between 2008-2013 and recorded on the albums The Inquiring Mind, Revelation and Euphoric. He also released recordings with Exegesis, a group that mixes jazz and electronic music. In 2008, on behalf of the U.S. State Department, Exegesis worked as cultural diplomats, performing in Bahrain, Yemen, Oman, U.A.E and Kuwait. Other artists he has performed and/or recorded with include Vernon Reid, Camille Brown, George Bohannon and Jimmy Owens. There are three full length albums of music created with Smomid and Pyramidi instruments, Pyramidi Scheme (2019), A Smoment in Time (2017), and Rhythms of Light (2015). With his Smomid Nick has performed at Lincoln Center, and been featured on the Discovery Science Network, Guitar World, Create Digital Music, BOMB magazine, and Metal Injection among other media outlets.