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Lawrence Lek

'Rift EP'


12 March – 31 August 2021

Artist and musician Lawrence Lek composes expansive atmospheric soundtracks to accompany the virtual reality worlds of his computer-generated film-works. In these hybrid, simulated universes, music plays a central role in world-building, creating a powerful sense of place. The sonic expression in Lek’s fictional realities fill spatial experience, driving the narrative through texture and emotional tone.

Like Lek’s film soundtracks, the ‘Rift EP’s instrumental synth melodies play on the musical language of video games, cinema and science fiction scores, evoking other worlds, different times and imagined places. They also embody a progressive, journeying quality. Presented as one continuous track, the ‘Rift EP’ has four distinct sections – 'Portal', 'League', 'Cyber' and 'Fantasy' – each with slightly different sonic characteristics and parallels to the developing levels of gameplay.

The experience of listening to the ‘Rift EP’ is akin to that of navigating the impossible architectures and vast, para-fictional CGI cityscapes of Lek’s films. As a soundtrack to walking outdoors, ‘Rift’ offers a transportive lens turning our surroundings into a film set, augmenting our perception of everyday reality and expanding the imagination beyond the here and now. A transcendent otherworldly space emerges through the alternating patterns and momentum of the music which holds within it a future-oriented flow.

Artist Biography

Lawrence Lek is a London-based artist, filmmaker, and musician working in the fields of virtual reality and simulation. Drawing from a background in architecture and electronic music, he creates fictional versions of real places that speculate on alternate geopolitical movements and future technological conflicts. This cinematic universe features characters caught between human and machine worlds: digital nomads, AI satellites, and online superstars, all searching for autonomy under alien conditions of existence.

His works include the virtual world 'Unreal Estate (The Royal Academy is Yours)’ (2015), the dystopian Brexit simulator ‘Europa, Mon Amour’ (2016), the video essay 'Sinofuturism (1839-2046 AD)' (2016), the AI-coming of-age story 'Geomancer’ (2017), the video game '2065' (2018), and the VR simulation 'Nøtel' (2019, in collaboration with Kode9). His CGI feature film 'AIDOL' (2019) was presented at the Moscow International Experimental Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and transmediale 2020, Berlin. Recent solo exhibitions include 'Ghostwriter', CCA Prague (2019); 'Farsight Freeport', HeK, Basel (2019); Nøtel, Urbane Künste Ruhr, Essen (2019); 'AIDOL', Sadie Coles HQ, London (2019); and '2065', K11, Hong Kong (2018). Lek composes soundtracks and conducts audio-visual mixes of his films, often incorporating live playthroughs of his open-world video games. Soundtrack releases include 'AIDOL OST' (Hyperdub, 2020) and 'Temple OST' (The Vinyl Factory, 2020).

This work can be listened to at home but we recommend listening with headphones whilst walking and spending time outdoors.

Part of 'In the open' – Series II

Mastering by Stephan Mathieu /
Schwebung Mastering.
Design by Maeve Redmond.