Karen O & Danger Mouse’s “Lux Prima” is one of the year’s best albums so far — but it’s more than an album. “An Encounter with Lux Prima – The Art of Collaboration,” a short documentary chronicling the 18-month development of their multisensory art installation “An Encounter With Lux Prima” premieres today exclusively on Variety. Watch the piece — directed by Luisa Conlon and Max Knight, produced in partnership with Dropbox and featuring interviews with many of the installation’s collaborators —below.
“An Encounter with Lux Prima” is described as “an immersive, communal listening experience intended to be the living nucleus” of the album, which was released in March on BMG (and received a rave review in Variety); the pair also gave a Times Talk about the album with a brief performance.
The show premiered last month at Los Angeles’ Marciano Art Foundation, with an opening gala attended by David Lynch, Brad Pitt, Jim Carrey, Chris Bosh, Spike Jonze, Val Kilmer, Ezra Miller, Garbage’s Shirley Manson, Nick Zinner, Warpaint’s Emily Kokal and others; more dates will be announced in the coming weeks.
“An Encounter” sees the duo collaborating with a cast of fellow artists including creative director Barnaby Clay, Oscar-nominated sound designer Ren Klyce (“Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” “Fight Club” — pictured above with Danger Mouse, center, and O, right), lighting designer Tobias Rylander (Robyn, The xx, FKA twigs), visual artist Davy Evans, creative consultant Warren Fu (Daft Punk, The Weeknd, Depeche Mode), projection mapping innovator Travis Threlkel, George Lucas’ Skywalker Sound and Meyer Sound. “An Encounter with Lux Prima” is executive produced by the Madison Square Garden Company and Like Mgmt.
Karen O says, “Danger Mouse and I wrote this music purely out of artistic exploration and the spirit of collaboration. It’s the first music I’ve written since the rite of passage of bringing a life into the world. Having a kid was like communing with the grander scheme of nature, the cycles of life, the transformative power of the mother. These themes felt timeless, yet more topical than ever in the modern world, so cut off and abstracted from its origins. The music was calling out for an extraordinary presentation, one that brings people together in a heightened state of listening. It’s gonna be a trip!”
“Karen and I had been plotting on working together for a long time,” adds Danger Mouse. “With no discussions on what the music would eventually sound like, we jumped in. We were each other’s audience alone really, but soon we started to see this world instead of just hearing it. So let’s see if others can hear and see it together too.”