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Animation Music

A Mesmerizing Rendering of Fiona Apple’s Lips Dance Across the Screen in the ‘Shameika’ Music Video

January 27, 2021

Grace Ebert

Fiona Apple’s Fetch the Bolt Cutters was one of the few good things to come out of 2020, with the Grammy-nominated track “Shameika” even resulting in a heartwarming reunion between the singer and the schoolmate who inspired it. The now-iconic piano ballad is paired with an equally alluring music video created by graphic designer Matthias Brown, whose figurative gifs we’ve featured previously on Colossal, and follows a black-and-white rendering of Apple’s lips that shapeshift as she mouths the lyrics.

The video took a few years to complete, a lengthy process Brown documented in a timelapse and that began with rotoscoping, or tracing, videos of Apple’s face while she sang. The New York City-based designer then animated each drawing frame-by-frame and set it to the track. “I tried working directly analog, but my timing wasn’t working well with the music. I had a digital version of the animation completed, then printed every frame out and traced it using brush and ink,” he says. “All in all, there are about 4,000 frames. Scanning alone took about 20 hours.”

Brown says plans are in the works to sell stills from the video to raise money for Seeding Sovereignty and Harlem Children’s Zone. You can follow the designer’s most recent projects, which include a plafyul series of alphabet animations, on his Tumblr, Traceloops.

 

 

 



Animation Music

Abstract Shapes Flow Like Water in Ho Tsz Wing’s Psychedelic Animation

December 21, 2020

Grace Ebert

In the hypnotic realm of “Catgot,” bubbles explode into kaleidoscopic droplets, and beads of water bounce across the screen. Created by Ho Tsz Wing using Photoshop, the two-dimensional drawings mimic the look of a hand-painted animation. They’re set to an electronic track by ISAN and gracefully follow a series of fluid, synchronized movements. Downbeats correspond with abstract shapes that flow from one scene to the next in a psychedelic fashion.

The Hong Kong-based animator and illustrator writes that the textured drawings highlight “the beauty of the colors, composition, and transformations of the objects in the scene” and are inspired in part by artists Masanobu Hiraoka and Matt Abbiss. To watch more of Ho Tsz Wing’s mesmerizing animations, check out Behance, Instagram, and Vimeo.

 

 

 



Animation Music

A Series of Animated Paper Video Games Evokes Digital Nostalgia

November 25, 2020

Grace Ebert

Perhaps no video game has evidenced the necessity of escapism in modern life more than Animal Crossing at the beginning of the pandemic. Players worldwide dove into the fictional universe to avoid the anxiety of daily life, a coping mechanism that a new animation by Austin-based creator Eric Power beautifully encapsulates. Set to a new song by Mixtape for the Milky Way, the short history is an ode to the charming simulation and a slew of its predecessors and contemporaries. The nostalgic video chronicles the evolution of video games—from Pacman and Asteroid to Cuphead, Limbo, and GRIS’s surreal watercolor landscapes—through a series of vintage television sets and classic simulations recreated entirely from paper.

For more of Power’s animated works, visit Vimeo and Instagram.

 

 

 



Animation Dance Music

Digital Dancers Groove Through the Streets of Istanbul in Shape-Shifting Costumes

November 23, 2020

Grace Ebert

Directed and animated by Istanbul-based Gökalp Gönen, a camouflaged cast grooves to Ilhan Ersahin’s jazzy new track, “Hurri-Mitanni (Good News),” in a mesmerizing series of transformations. The anonymous characters don amorphous, animated costumes as they dance throughout the streets and in empty pockets of the city, morphing from a floral ensemble to an oversized figure covered in kaleidoscopic spirals to another trapped in string.

Keep up with Gönen’s lively projects on Vimeo and Instagram.
 

 

 



Amazing Dance Music

Listening to Swan Lake Awakens the Memory of a Former Ballerina with Alzheimer’s

November 11, 2020

Christopher Jobson

We’re not crying, you’re crying. Music’s ability to improve the mood and boost cognitive skills in people with dementia has long been documented. “Music is no luxury to them, but a necessity,” wrote neurologist Oliver Sacks in his 2008 book Musicophilia. “It can have a power beyond anything else to restore them to themselves, and to others, at least for a while.” Such is the case in this video of former NYC ballet dancer Marta C. González who was given the opportunity to listen to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, a piece of music we can assume she performed numerous times as shown in the interspersed archival clips from the 1960s. The music seems to awaken the choreography stored deep in her brain as she begins to spontaneously perform from her wheelchair. González founded and directed her own dance ensemble called Rosamunda.

The video was recorded last year in Valencia, Spain and published by Música para Despertar (Awakening Music), a non-profit organization that brings music to patients with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dimensia to help raise awareness of its therapeutic impact. (via Kottke)

 

 



Art Craft Music

Bright Floral Crochet Wraps an Iconic Stratocaster Guitar in a Psychedelic Layer of Color

October 20, 2020

Grace Ebert

“Flower Power” (2020), crocheted wool and Fender Stratocaster, 106.7 x 12.7 x 38.1 centimeters. All images courtesy of The Big Art Auction, shared with permission

A new piece by Portuguese artist Joana Vasconcelos (previously) envelops one of Fender’s Stratocaster guitars in a vibrant sheath of wool. Titled “Flower Power,” loosely crocheted petals cover the entirety of the instrument, wrapping the body, neck, and head in a kaleidoscopic bouquet. The fibrous webbing evokes the aesthetic of the 1960s when Fender’s model secured its legendary status.

Along with a diverse series of artist-customized Strats, “Flower Power” will be auctioned on Nov. 4 through The Big Art Auction, a collaborative event hosted by The Big Issue Group and Creative Giants. Proceeds from the sales will be donated to The Big Issue, a United Kingdom-based organization that creates economic opportunities for folks who are marginalized and in need. To follow Vasconcelos’s crocheted interventions, head to Instagram.

 

“Flower Power” (2020), crocheted wool and Fender Stratocaster, 106.7 x 12.7 x 38.1 centimeters

“Flower Power” (2020), crocheted wool and Fender Stratocaster, 106.7 x 12.7 x 38.1 centimeters