Monday, June 28, 2010

Sweaty Dudes and Bloody Blades

I found this link to a collection of awesome movie posters from Pakistan. It is so great because it is painted so fierce, thick, direct and colorfull. Not perfect, not smooth but rather expressive. It's a bloody mess!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Germany vs. Greece

In the midst of these football (or "soccer", if you're tilted that way) crazed times, I present you with a healthy alternative in Monty Python Clip of the Week.

Friday, June 25, 2010

1 million views: Crooked (Orcus) Rot

Huzzah! The YouTube presentation of Crooked (Orcus) Rot has just reached over 1,000,000 views. I'm pretty sure that's the biggest (accumulated) audience I've ever had. Crooked (Orcus) Rot is a stop motion film by David Firth, for which I composed the music and sound design. It is also, according to The Daily Telegraph, "the 2nd creepiest thing on the internet".

David Firth is a talented English young man who shot to internet stardom around 2005 at the age of 22 with entertaining yet disturbing flash cartoons such as Salad Fingers and Spoilsbury Toast Boy. His sensibilities often call to mind the work of David Lynch and Tim Burton, but still he manages to sustain a personal artistic voice very much his own.

Crooked (Orcus) Rot is an amazing little short, which actually made it quite difficult for me to score. The fact that I instantly fell in love with it really raised the bar for me; I really wanted to do it justice and find the kind of music and sound design that fit the images perfectly -- supporting them and never getting in the way. The fact that the film itself is very much a kind of 'visual music' prompted a need for a specific kind of score.

The soundtrack is quite abstract compared to "conventional" music. No discernible themes, melodies, etc. -- I opted for a feverish atonal and timbre-driven score, attempting to erase the borders between music and sound design -- and thus the score hopefully fuses quite naturally with the film itself. My ambition was for the soundtrack to be a natural, organic continuation of the film, instead of just being a musical accompaniment running parallel to the it.

As for the overall sound design of the film, Firth provided the voices and foley effects (the physical sounds such as wheels spinning, a cigarette being lit, typing on the computer keyboard etc.) while I provided the more abstract sound design (intro sequence weirdness, the wobbling halo, sparks of electricity etc).

The great animator Peter Chung once said that "...animation is the creation of the illusion of spontaneity (...) because nothing is in fact less spontaneous than the process of animating." I think this is also very appropriate for the kind of soundtrack I created for this film; the aim was to produce a natural flow that feels effortless, when in fact it was long, hard, frustrating work to arrive at a result that felt "right". In the end I was pleased with my efforts, and to my great satisfaction Firth was very enthusiastic about the finished score. I hope you enjoy it too, and I urge you to check out Firth's site for more amazing and disturbing cartoons.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fake Retro Advertisement II

In reply of Kafkagarden's last post about the spectacular work of Alex Varanese, I too have once tried to recall the feelings of cheesy old ads. It was a school project in 2002 I guess. I bought an old radio and turned it into home-disc-Jockey set. You could take the lid of the top and in it was the microphone, headphones, some fake wires and fancy looking meaningless crap. It looked pretty cool.
Looking back at it now I find the picture very unclear, crappy photography ánd typography, and the cool home-DJ-set I made is almost invisible. But sometimes it's fun to see what we were doing years ago, and I sure had fun with it!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

David Pelham

Who is David Pelham? Well, for a start, he designed this iconic pocket book cover for Anthony Burgess' "A Clockwork Orange". I've always loved this book cover but it wasn't until today that I by accident learned the name of the illustrator. A quick google image search led me to more of his book cover work, and I must say I really, really like it.

I also just realized that the eye in the Clockwork Orange illustration is in fact a cog wheel, of course a reflection of the clockwork aspect, and if this cover preceded the Kubrick film adaptation, it might very well have been the direct inspiration for the film version's Alex having fake black eyelashes over one of his eyes.

Anyway, here's more of Pelham's work for you to enjoy:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Alex Varanese

This guy has made a work that is sort of conceptual, but most of all extremely delicious and amazingly well crafted vintage 1970s design extravaganza. The idea:
"(...) 14 full-sized, 18x24" prints that explore the awesomely absurd idea of time travelers who return to the late 1970's to release the technology of 2010 and dominate the world of consumer electronics. I re-imagined four modern products as if they existed over 30 years ago and tried to bring them to life through fake print ads, abstract glamour shots, and even a characteristically pretentious type treatment or two."
Feast your eyes on THIS.

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Book at Bedtime

It's friday, and time for Monty Python Clip of the Week.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The Percussive Commodore

I'm currently working on a percussion piece which involves hooking up digital drum pads to trigger an old 1982 Commodore 64 computer, so that the percussionist can play the old computer as a percussion instrument. The C64 had a very advanced synthesizer chip for it's time, of course it's extremely limited by today's standard but the chip is still very sought after by electronic musicians today, because it frankly doesn't sound like anything else.

Here is a quick confused (low quality) sample of me trying out the C64 by playing the percussion pads. This is the sound of a computer almost as old as me.

Kudos goes to Fredrik Olofsson who helped me with (actually did all the work) soldering a decent Audio/Video adapter for this old little beast. Further kudos goes to the 8bit Ventures team, who with their MSSIAH cartridge provides extremely straightforward MIDI compatibility and great synthesizer software for the C64/SID.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Meet Sam Dillemans!

I love this Belgian painter! His way of talking, his manic ways of painting and boxing and overall presence are inspiring. I am going to try to find the full documentary somewehere. Awesome stuff!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


No real relevance, this is just funny and nothing else. And funny how this brilliant 1969 clip by Monty Python foreshadows the event.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


great video, cool sounds.

MARS! from Joe Bichard on Vimeo.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

So Much Pileup

While researching this Miguel Calatayud fellow (see previous post) I accidentaly stumbled upon "So Much Pileup", a beautiful blog and reference source for 1960's-1980's retro design. Definitely something to bookmark.

Miguel Calatayud

Basically just directing you to a blog post about this Spanish illustrator who appears to have done some sweet, sweet early '70s style work.