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SUAN Conceptual Design GmbH
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Artwork for the Black Forest Percussion Group.

For their tenth performance, the Black Forest Percussion Group sought a visual equivalent of Steve Reich’s longest-running composition, Drumming. The piece in twelve-beat combines several percussion instruments that generate tension in a constant rhythm using different timbres and phasing. SUAN not only designed the live visuals, but also a poster, postcard and booklet beforehand.


Graphic design
Editorial design
Poster design
Digital media

The poster series

With the live projection during the performance, we mirrored the change of timbres, the structure of the motifs and above all the very own phasing of the piece, which made something new visible by shifting the original patterns on top of each other. From the different resulting patterns we developed a poster series.

“The distinctive thing about musical processes
is that they determine all the
note-to-note (sound-to-sound) details
and the overall form simultaneously.”
Steve Reich, Music as a Gradual Process, 1969

The live projections

The Drumming projections are dedicated to translating the musical message to a visual level. The polyhedrons, which are shown again and again, mark the division of the piece into four parts, each polyhedron representing the musical space. It is played with the 12, the number of musicians, the octave, and the 4 as the parts of the whole piece. In addition, the body deals with the part of the play and its actors. For example, the first body, the triatronic wheel, includes 3-sided surfaces. The nets of these bodies, thought iteratively as a pattern, form the basis for phasing, the central feature of Drumming. Out of the same pattern, shifts create new patterns that can be discovered both acoustically and visually. The patterns were programmed in advance and then changed by a midi controller live and analogous to the music.

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