Moche Pit

By Keyvane Alinaghi, 2010

Photo credits: Mr Ashby

Moshing refers to the act in which audience members at live music performances push and/or slam into each other for the purpose of entertainment. It is typically done in an area in front of the stage which is referred to as the Mosh Pit or simply Pit. It is most commonly associated to concerts featuring more aggressive musical genres, such as hardcore punk and heavy metal. The term “mosh” was introduced in the early 80s American hardcore scene in Washington, D.C.

Moche Pit is an interactive sound space. The energy of the users creates the music. Unlike modern dance or others, no choregraphy is written here. Moshing is chaotic and violent. The Moche Pit display requires the users/performers to produce a certain level of agitation in order for the virtual instruments — keyboards, sequencers, samplers, rhythm boxes — to start to play. The higher the energy level, the faster the beat. When the gestures of the performers are jerky, the rhythm of the sequence is out of beat; when the gestures are fluid, musical themes begin to emerge; when the bodies collide, the sound level increases, etc. These breaks in rhythm and sudden changes of pace are related to the notion of “agogics”. Sound here is directly related to the behavior and energy of the actors/spectators and their game-like interactions.