Purity Ring


Megan James standing underneath interactive light cocoons

Canadian future-pop outfit, Purity Ring has enjoyed a meteoric rise in 2012, gathering a huge amount of attention from the music press and fans. After signing to 4AD and releasing a debut album, the duo - Corin Roddick and Megan James - wanted a new stage lighting set for a headline tour.

Corin had created a table-top lighting rig of fabric lanterns that he struck with sticks, triggering audio in Ableton Live, controlled through DMX. Expanding on that setup, Tangible conceived twenty light cocoons, designed to physically immerse the band, and increase their stage presence.

Inside the cocoons, RGB LED modules are controlled using Cortex, a software application developed by Tangible for lighting and kinetic installations. Running within Ableton, Max For Live sends Open Sound Control (OSC) messages through a closed WiFi network to Cortex. For example, data relating to a drum beat, vocal pitch or volume. Cortex takes those messages and then applies a pre-determined light behaviour (animation).

Each set of light behaviours is different for every song. While on stage, the band can also manually change and add light behaviours to songs on the fly, using a MIDI controller hooked up to the computer running Cortex.

Inspired by silk work cocoons, Purity Ring's are made from polyurethane foam, cast from a three part silicon mould. Vancouver props specialist, Hopewell Works provided fabrication. The cocoons are staged using telescopic fibreglass poles - a simple, modular solution that can be rearranged to fit and give a different look at any venue.

Tangible Interaction founder Alex Beim and Corin Roddick in font of an array of lights

Tangible Interatcion's Alex Beim and Corin Roddick testing out Interactive Lights during rehearsal in Montreal

Interactive cocoons hanging from the ceiling by a mix of wires.

Testing out the Interactive Cocoons at the Tangible Interaction studio in Vancouver, Canada

Cocoons and lights, a carpet, and various equipment on stage.

Purity Ring setting up before a performance in Montreal

Poles, cocoons, and two lights on stage

Setting up at a performance in Montreal

Alex Beim, Corin Roddick and Megan James of Purity Ring on stage with cocoons and lights with various equipment.

Tangible Interaction founder Alex Beim, Corin Roddick and Megan James of Purity Ring on stage with Cocoons and lights.

Control Box with a series of wires and lights.

Control Box made by Tangible Interaction for Purity Ring's show at Pitchfork Music Festival

Computer in front testing out interactive cocoons in background

Tangible Interaction's Interactive Cocoons being tested before the show at Pitchfork Music Festival

Corin Roddick and Megan James on stage with blue light cocoons overhead

Corin Roddick testing his interactive lights (through Tangible Interacion's Cortex software) rehearsing for the first time in Montreal

Corin Roddick and Megan James underneath interactive light cocoons

Corin Roddick and Megan James of Purity Ring testing the Interactive Cocoons at rehearsal in Montreal