Artist Axel Thesleff spent six months creating an audio-visual set for his first official SXSW showcase before the festival was cancelled due to COVID-19. Thesleff spearheaded a plan to get the set to his fans by assembling a top-level production team in his native Finland. The performance was shot in the 8,200 seat, outdoor Helsinki Ice Hall by a 12-person film crew to capture the “set that never happened.”
Thesleff dubbed the fully immersive audio-visual experience “Arena Live (2020),” and the one-hour set can be streamed on Axel’s YouTube channel. He worked closely with visual artist Petri Ruikka to bring his vision to life, whose work originates from the intersections of cinema, advanced animation, and experimental art and design.
“While in quarantine in Helsinki we started brainstorming ideas of what to do, when an opportunity arose to collaborate with the event technology company Bright at the Ice Hall. They had built a stage for live-streaming events during the COVID era – that’s where the whole “Arena Live” idea came from. The next 3 months were spent polishing the visuals and hiring a lighting team to program the lights for the show. We had one day for rehearsals and one day for filming, things moved so fast!” – Axel
This is not Axel’s first time producing something of this scale; his 30-minute audiovisual EP “Two Worlds” was filmed in multiple countries and has amassed over 350,000 views on Youtube. In his “Find My Way” performance video was filmed in an outdoor ice rink, showcasing 20 figure skaters in synchronized dance.
About Alex Thesleff:
Axel Thesleff is an electronic musician and producer based in Helsinki, Finland. His style is diverse, ranging from bass-heavy bangers to more relaxed and deep tracks, never forgetting about the emotion and story behind each piece of music. Axel’s popularity has been accelerated by his 2014 release, Bad Karma, which has been streamed more than 300 million times on Youtube, millions more on Spotify and Soundcloud and featured in Adidas’ Faster Than campaign. Several club gigs, festival performances, and interesting collaborations are just the beginning of this skilled, but humble musician’s career.
Axel Thesleff Socials: