This story starts on December 1, 2012. On that day, I visited a concert in Antwerp with two of my friends. The artist we visited was Madeon. He was 18 years old at the time and used three Launchpads to perform a 45-minute live set. To get an idea of how Madeon worked his magic, you should look at his Pop Culture video. In this video, he uses one Launchpad and samples from 39 songs to create an amazing electro song:
Imagine him doing this, on three devices, non-stop for about 45 minutes. It was a joy to see him perform.
Picture of Madeon in Petrol (Antwerp) taken with my then-beautiful HTC 8X.
After the show, I remember calling him the Mozart of our generation whenever we referred to him. It made us set up Facebook group to discuss music. A group we dutifully called Madeon.
7 years later
In 2019, we visited his new show: Good Faith LIVE in the Melkweg. Of his 39 shows, only 3 were in Europe. I was lucky enough that those same two friends were on it again and bought us tickets that granted us access to an amazing experience.
My second show of Madeon, 24 at the time of the show, was a show I consider the best audiovisual experience I have ever witnessed. This time Madeon produced both the songs AND the visuals. The result was pure audiovisual bliss. So maybe, just maybe, the Mozart of our generation is secretly also the Rembrandt of our generation.
Picture of Madeon in the Melkweg (Amsterdam) taken with my good old iPhone SE.
Paying tribute to the Good Faith LIVE show
I decided to use the code of my Avicii Project to create a new t-shirt as a personal (and wearable) memory of the show. The process started with my standard approach: get the lyrics of his songs, analyse them for sentiment, and generate a line based on the results. First up, the sentiment of the Good Faith album according to the algorithm:
Next up, we simplify this visual to make a connect the dots drawing:
After that, we start with a straight line, in the direct of the index of the songs:
And after that, we add the a curved line:
Here’s a cleaned up version of the final result:
To be honest: I thought it was a nice organic line, but it did not really stick with me. I let the idea of a t-shirt rest for a while, as it did not really do justice to Madeon’s show for me.
The Colours of Good Faith
Even though both of my pictures of Madeon are black and white (and so is the line), I’m intrigued by the Good Faith colour pallet. Madeon uses bold colours in his various types of media. I also recalled that they sold caps with LIVE in a nice red rectangle on them from his merch stand. I couldn’t find that cap anymore (and wish I bought one), so I started doing some research to see if could find the visual. I could not find a good image. But did find enough to build an estimate of it based on other visuals.
To give you an idea of the Madeon’s imagery, here are three visuals related to his Good Faith tour:
A note on the sources: I just copy-pasted these from an image search. All rights belong to Madeon.
Cover of the All My Friends release.
Visual of the Good Faith typography.
A Good Faith tour poster.
Based on the reds in the first two images, and the LIVE part on the poster, I guess the image on the cap I was remembering must have looked like this:
My estimate visual of the LIVE rectangle on the caps.
I wanted to combine this with my line. First, I dropped the LIVE characters. As Madeon has given me two inspiring performances, I wanted to resemble this in the visual. I wanted to do something special. So my next step was to combine the line with the rectangle in a way that the line breaks free from rectangular shape. The flow of the line starts in the rectangle, but after that, it just doesn’t care, and it goes all over the place.
To me, this resembles Madeon. He creates what he loves, regardless of rules. Whether it’s Pop Culture, Adventure, or the masterpiece Good Faith. There’s also an 80ies vibe to the visaul; an unintended, but nice benefit.
I like this visual and had it printed it on a t-shirt. I’m really happy with it:
Me being happy with my Madeon Good Faith t-shirt.
Thanks Madeon. For both your musical and visual artistry.
This post is part of my Avicii Project. An ongoing project in which I visualise a machine’s view on music lyrics.