Iudicium

A couple of years ago I challenged myself to write five tracks in five days. (I like working with that sort of structure.) The results were: two poor tracks, two acceptable tracks, and one surprisingly good track. The surprisingly good track used a palette of sounds that is unusual for me, so it sat around on my hard disk for a long time without me knowing what I wanted to do with it.

When I met Malwina Chabocka we decided to collaborate, combining her visuals with my music. For our first project, I sent her the track mentioned above and she made a series of sketches in response to it which we then turned into an animation. This was our first attempt at animation, so the process was challenging for both of us, with many things done in laborious ways, simply because we didn’t know any better. Malwina put many hours into painstakingly assembling image after image in Photoshop — most of which we then didn’t use. I spent some time messing around with iMovie before eventually ditching it for Final Cut Pro. And in the end we concluded that we’d do the whole thing very differently if (or, hopefully, when) we do it again. Nonetheless, we were proud of the results.

The track itself takes inspiration from the samples used within it: in particular the processed vocal sample that drones throughout, the darbuka from the G-Town sample set, and the less processed vocal samples that appear halfway through. The first of these was a major discovery for me, since clearly this slowed-down vocal sound is the basis for many of the dark ambient tunes that I love. The track as a whole, and its relationship to my other music, could obviously be compared to Arcana‘s Le Serpent Rouge, and this too was undoubtedly an influence.

The structure of the track was influenced by the animation process: the original version was around eight minutes long, but I shortened it to better fit the ideas for the animation.

I have half a plan to release both versions of the track along with a high quality video download and maybe one or two related tracks on Bandcamp at some point. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the video.