WEEK 4 FOCUS OF INDUSTRY: Creative Services (Creative Engineer)
This week BACKSTAGE ACCESS explores the sector of creative services in the music industry. Live music events are
all about the experience, which are often created from more than just what we are hearing. What we feel and see along the side of the music is a huge part of an overall live music experience. People often don’t think about the work that goes into creative services that trigger an attendee’s senses.
Casey Scalf, a creative engineer and founder of Sensebellum, spoke with me about the creative and thoughtful services that his company offers to make this world a more beautiful place. Sensebellum’s work aims to ignite individual’s senses and contribute to their overall live music experience through interactive art, visual projections, graphic and stage design and so much more.
Sensebellum’s work has been showcased at venues such as USC events, the Experience Music Project and Summer Meltdown Festival. Scalf has had the pleasure to work with artists like Major Lazor, Odesza and the Flaming Lips.
Featured Professional: Casey Scalf from Sensebellum ©
Casey Scalf, 25 founded Sensebellum in January, 2012. What started as a company providing concert lighting through visual projections turned into overall stage design and eventually what Scalf describes as “interactive art.”
Scalf’s work can take shape in many forms and is accomplished through engineering, software and projection.
Much of his work relates back to the name of his company, Sensebellum, Scalf said. All of our senses are perceived through our cerebellum, Scalf reminded me. He explained the point of his work is to link and trigger our senses through thought provoking means.
Sensebellum creates visuals that are projected onto a screen, buildings or large objects, along with moving lights and interactive pieces that creates a “two-way conversation” for viewers that are thoughtfully crafted for a given event.
“What is going to work for an electronic show is not necessarily going to work for a rock n’ roll show,” Scalf said.
He explained that a show’s lighting and the colors, patterns and objects he chooses to projects all depends on the music. Electronic shows tend to have edgy, sharp and in-your-face LED lights, while rock n’ roll shows visuals are much more “rounded” and lets the music speak for itself, Scalf said.
Scalf said his favorite part of the job is overhearing people talk about their experiences with his work. “I love hearing candidly people [talking about] really enjoying themselves around things that I have built,” Scalf said. “That is what takes the cake.”
Scalf emphasized how easy it is to get involved with creative services and software. “There is a lot of opportunities out there and a huge demand for it,” Scalf said.
He encourages people interested in this sort of work to get started by experimenting with free software programs, such as Processing © and to get their work out by contacting events and artists.
“Anyone who built tree forts or played with Legos growing up is going to fit right in,” Scalf said He explained this sort of work is good for those with a creative-edge and a bit of a technical mind.
If you are intrigued to learn more about Scalf’s work, visit Sensebellum’s website: http://sensebellum.com/
Watch this video of Sensebellum’s work in action during Odesza’s set at Summer Meltdown Festival from 2013 here: https://vimeo.com/72461003