Helheim live

Some short clips from Helheim concert at Blekkmetal tattoo covention in Bergen, Norway. It is my first attempt at using TouchDesigner for live performance, and it is for now only being used as a videomixer. Visuals are made in Blender.


Nice! Did you use an input device to perform the mixing live with or did you stick with mouse and keyboard? What was your setup?

I use a Behringer CBF2000 as MIDI controller. Pc is a Clevo p150 with Geforce GTX680M, and the projector is a Benq sp840.

The TouchDesigner file is a eight layer videomixer I started building in 2012, and almost got projector output from before I abandoned the project. For now I have been focused on making it work, but I se a lot of improvements I want/ need to do to it. I’m very fond of it, and have dubbed it Breadtoaster.

I’m not doing much vj’ing in these songs, but I’ll say a litle on what I do and on the content.

The title of the first song, Vigrids Vård, translates somewhat to “the keeper-spirit of the battlefield of the last fight between the Gods and the Giants”. The symbol used is (what the sagas most probably refers to as) a Valknute (battlefield-knot). The clouds are made with Blender smoke simulator and a wind-effector. To make make them less static i have two clips with different clouds, but the same symbol, and I play around with them at different positive and negative speeds.

The second refers to Balders grave, and to Eldjudne, the festive hall in Helheim where Balder sits on the throne besides Hel. There are layers to what the visuals are representing, here I’m using it as a representation of Balders journey to the land of the dead, and of his wedding to the Goddes of death (not directly attested in the sagas.) But the visuals might just as well be seen as representing a spirutual/ shamanistic journey any great Norse man (and some women) was expected to do. To go on a vision quest to find and to awake the inner guardian spirit (fylje), to recieve the sacred mead, and to swear to her the ring-oath. For the performance the intro, a gateway, cuts to a loop. I use alpha to layer stuff that passes by, like the maiden with the mead seen in the clip, and it ends with the image of a ring filling the screen. It is a work in progress.

A direct translation of the third title would be Black Wisdom. Maybe Dark Knowledge translates better. Lyrics is about the metods used by christianity when invading Norway, of how the people have been oppressed since, and speaks of a need to rise up against it. The visuals reflect the lyrics, and I found it befitting for an event who celebrated the early years of Black metal. I’m running a single loop through the song on this.