They turn out the lights.
“Vamos?” he says.
“Sí,” she responds.
Through the darkness an airy, synthesizer-based tune begins.
In time with the music, white squares are projected onto the wall. The squares make lines. The lines become shapes. The shapes start spinning and changing colour.
In front of the projected images, computer screens light up the faces of a man and a woman. Both are wearing button-up shirts, pants and boots. Both of their heads are bouncing to the beat.
These two people make up Los Automártin, a musical and visual performing duo based out of Buenos Aires.
Fully booked when visiting Berlin but relatively unknown in Argentina, Los Automártin are getting set for a show at home in the capital this month.
The pair, 31-year-old Martin Duarte and 26-year-old Sonsoles Romero, say creating and playing this music is their “passion.”
“We’re doing something that we would like to see ourselves,” Duarte said. “This was the idea of the project. To create something that we would like to see on stage, musically and visually.”
Having worked together for two years, Duarte says he was the assistant director and she was art director when they met on the set of a “terrible” movie. Lifting his left hand to show his ring, Duarte adds that they fell in love, married and now produce their light and music show together.
“We call this our first child”, he said with a laugh.
Their show, a labour of love, mixes visual elements with sound to create a mood. The content, both video and audio, are all original.
“VJs kind of do what we do, but they often play images from other people,” Romero said. “We make all the animations, the videos, the production. We think of the music we’re going to do, the design.”
Their melodies flow along common chords and songs build on musical themes.
The visuals that accompany the music move in time with the tempo and occasionally with the melody. Often based on rainbow colouring, the pictures range from geometric patterns to belly dancers in kaleidoscope.
The couple both work on the music together. Romero creates the artistic visuals that move on screen with the songs, and Duarte works on production of the presentation.
Although relatively unknown in Argentina, this type of show is more popular in Spain, Duarte said. The two both noted that while in Berlin for a month and a half in 2010, their weekends were booked solid.
“Here [at parties], it’s more, ‘Boom-ch boom-ch boom,’” he said. “We like more of a melodic presence, that there’s a melody. The music has more air. There’s more room for filling and listening from the spectator.”
Working in offices during the day, Duarte and Romero spend much of their free time working on new songs and visual shows together.
“Typical office from 9am-5pm – typical work,” he said. “Work is the method for the entire project, perhaps something that supports our project. But, for example, we create all our own music – we’re not DJs. And perhaps, if we didn’t have this work, it would be much harder, and we might have to be DJs or something, because this can’t support us.”
The pair are heading off to Berlin again in 2013, taking off in February and spending three months playing their production and seeing the sights.