Amon Tobin Presents ISAM Live 2.0 – New Movements in Visual Performance

For the second year in a row, Amon Tobin raises the bar for live performance with his ISAM tour—a three-dimensional experience of sound and video projection that is unlike anything else you’ve seen.

Amon Tobin: ISAM Live 2.0

Amon Tobin’s 2011 ISAM tour (the name is an acronym that stands for Invented Sounds Applied to Music) was one of the most complex and intricate audio/visual performances that many audience members had ever seen and one of the most talked-about tours of the year. For 2012, Tobin and his team of programmers and designers have dramatically increased the size of the installation, created new music and put together a completely new show to create ISAM Live 2.0.

“Depending on where we play, the show can end up being twice the size, which opens up a world of widescreen possibilities,” Tobin explained to Miami’s New Times. “But it’s really down to new material both visual and audio. In the end, I think live production is only as good as the work that goes into the material, and if nothing else we’ve certainly all worked really hard on this.”

Pioneer of Sound + Vision

For almost two decades, Montreal’s Amon Tobin has been producing experimental beat-driven noir music that recalls moments of dramatic dreamscapes. As a musician he’s gained a legion of fans since 1996′s Adventures in Foam LP, which was followed up by seven more acclaimed albums on Jonathan Moore and Matt Black’s esteemed Ninja Tune label. Many of these songs have been used in films or commercials due to the cinematic nature of Tobin’s sound palette and the short bursts of rhythm and mood that have become his signature sound.

In 2011 Tobin took a step beyond his niche as atmospheric beat scientist and embraced the visual side of performance through his now legendary ISAM album, performance and tour. With ISAM, Tobin enlisted a team of talented designers and video performance experts who built a three-dimensional art installation serving as stage, video projection screen, and an altogether new take on the idea of concert performance. “I’m inside a film, I guess, of my own making,” explains Tobin in an interview with Minneapolis’s  City Pages. “It’s a genuine mixture of movie experience, a live performance, and music. I’m trying to be part of a much bigger thing.”

ISAM is about exploring what’s possible with music and sound, using new technologies,” Tobin continues in an interview with New Times. “The record used emerging production techniques, many of which had previously only been tools for sound design in cinema, and applied them to music. It took three years to complete. And love it or hate it, it genuinely broke some new ground. The problem was there was no way to perform it live, so new ways of presenting electronic music that wasn’t strictly ‘dance’ music also had to be thought about. The show is the result of this problem-solving process. I wanted to visually interpret what people could hear in a way that was more than some fancy eye candy. Instead, I’d perform the music inside an invented object that could shape-shift to a narrative—a kind of live movie that reacts to the score.”

Amon Tobin’s ISAM Live 2.0 tour kicked off on September 1, 2012 in Seattle and continues through October 12, 2012, concluding with a final show in Los Angeles.

From the official press release on

For the Autumn run of dates throughout America, ISAM Live 2.0 will launch: introducing the new ISAM construction, enhanced with new audio and visual elements. Part of the new content in the ISAM Live show will be composed of forthcoming Two Fingers material. Tobin will be revealing new music from his beat-oriented alias, in celebration of the highly anticipated sophomore album due this Fall on Big Dada. All past ISAM Live shows have sold out, so get your tickets now or be lost in the dust come fall.

ISAM 2.0 Tour Dates

Sept 1 : Seattle (Moore Theatre)*
Sept 2 : Portland (Roseland Theatre)*
Sept 4 : Denver (Ellie Caulkins Opera House)*
Sept 6 : Minneapolis (Orpheum Theatre)*
Sept 7 : Milwaukee (The Rave)*
Sept 8 : Chicago (Congress Theatre)
Sept 9 : Detroit (Royal Oak Music Hall)*
Sept 10 : Toronto (Kool Haus)*
Sept 12 : Boston (House Of Blues)*
Sept 13 : Montclair (Wellmont Theatre)*
Sept 14 : New York (Hammerstein Ballroom)*
Sept 17 : Philadelphia (Electric Factory)*
Sept 19 : Clemson (Brooks Center at Clemson University)*
Sept 20 : Atlanta (The Tabernacle)*
Sept 21 : Orlando (House Of Blues)*
Sept 22 : Miami (The Fillmore at Jackie Gleason)*
Sept 24 : Dallas (The Palladium)*
Sept 25 : Austin (Music Hall)*
Sept 27 : San Diego (House Of Blues)*
Oct 5 : Berkeley (Greek Theatre)**
Oct 12 : Los Angeles (Greek Theatre)*

*with Holy Other
**with Kronos Quartet & Holy Other