Audiovisual act Binmatu is Jonas Gruska’s attempt to create something ‘different than usual concert experiences’. We spoke to him about walking the fine line between audio and video work, and using sacred geometry and mathematics as a source of inspiration.
“I work a lot with both subtle and drastic psychedelic effects, through means of audio and video,” explains Jonas Gruska, the man behind Binmatu. “I prefer to call the result ‘an experience’, because it is not about the music or image itself (most of the people wouldn’t even call it music) – it is a ritual, a shared ceremony.”
To say Gruska has an interesting philosophy behind his work is a bit of an understatement. In the words of the artist himself, “I like to think I was used as a channel for a higher entity, helping her, it or him to materialize sonic and visual ideas.” He goes on to explain that he wants to use his performances to induce higher states of mind in his listeners, and rather than searching for melodies or rhythms, to allow people to experience listening to sound in a ‘different fashion.’
Although Gruska’s thinking is striking and unusual enough, his imagery is equally so. The album artwork was created by Zavoloka – a musican and visual artist from Ukraine – and based on a single frame from Gruska’s own moving visuals for the project. “Artwork is just a flash from the whole thing,” he explains. “Since I started programming visual work, I was always charmed by moiré patterns, optical illusions and sacred geometry. And mathematics. All my codes for visuals are filled with trigonometry. It is very inspiring to have complicated geometric patterns on hand with few lines of code.”
This geometry is apparent in the Binmatu visuals, which are somehow equally scientific and trippy. All of the tracks are based on algorithms, and so are the visuals. “I work a lot with symmetry, various ‘golden’ rations (although I create my own sets of rules) and harmonies. The general principle of Binmatu is that the right amount of simple entities can be combined in beautiful and complex patterns. And that applies to sound generation, as well as to visual results.”
Although the two work in harmony, Gruska creates all the audio first, before fitting the visual work to the particular experience he wants to convey, and the different parts of the brain he wants to ‘tickle’.
Audio and visuals: Jonas Gruska
Album artwork: Zavoloka