Michael Moppert performs as Sonarpilot, and takes his inspiration from the sonic risk takers who pushed back the boundaries of music from the 1970s onwards. Rock legends such as David Bowie, Pink Floyd, and Roxy Music, and pioneers of electronic music, such as Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Brian Eno, all provide plenty of fodder for thought for Moppert, who sees them as astronauts disguised as artists, who explored the very reaches of musical space.
He started out with a guitar, 4-track, a beaten up drum machine, along with a single analogue synth, and over time has upgraded until now he has a fully-operational recording studio. He’s also seen his music evolve from punk-inflected rock, to increasing technoid, ambient, and experimental.
At the end of the 2000s he changed his name to Sonarpilot, and started on a new mission, ‘The Mirage Project’, a collection of six fractal films, all unique, using bespoke electronic soundtracks, appearing online monthly, from May to December. We feature two of the films, ‘City In The Sky’, which was the first piece to be offered in this sonic sci-fi opus, followed by ‘Fossil’, the second audio/visual piece to be released.
‘City In The Sky’ introduces the series, deeply immersive, with awe-inspiring synths accompanying vocal fragments, which rise and bubble towards a layer of reverb, accompanied by the thump, albeit muted, of the beat. Our eyes are compelled to likewise rise upwards, at the crystalline cityscapes which unfold beyond infinity. The significance in the piece is as a mirage, about the impermanence of even the most technologically advanced societies. As Rome fell, so we shall also.
Each video and their soundtrack has been created by Sonarpilot alongside film producer Roger Mäder. Speaking of the process, Mäder said,
“We were using software that generates highly complex fractals. Some of the formulas took a week to render one minute of video.”
When the raw visual material was created for each song’s world, it would then be edited by Moppert, while at the same time he wrote the music. With ‘Fossil’ we see the repeated motifs of shimmering skeletal arches and caverns, endless geometric patterns flow on and on, in an eerily organic fashion. Watch below.
You can find out more about the fascinating Sonarpilot and his Mirage Project from the official website.