A fusion of live instruments, directed improvised violin (edited and manipulated afterwords) and sound design. Reflecting the interplay between creativity and technology, expression and data.
Zelig Sound was approach by The Telegraph Creative team led by Matt Simmonds, alongside the visual design studio We Are Seventeen, to develop the audio component for a stunning short concept film for Spark.
On seeing the visuals we knew we could push the music and sound design to be really bold, intricate and fresh. Running with the concept of contrasting the fluid painted creative lines with the geometric crisp 3D graph like structures.
We wanted to represent the Creative sections with a live vivid human feeling and the Data Geometry sections with a more synthetic sound designed quality. To start we mocked up the piece using virtual / software instruments with a first pass on the Data sound design sections.
The Creative section needed something bold and interesting so we approached Georgina Leach, a hugely talented violinist. In our studio in Farringdon, London, we recorded her playing in a four hour directed improvisation session. This involved Matthew Wilcock & Aleah Morrison, who run Zelig Sound, describing, humming, gesticulating, singing and whistling parts to Georgina who then articulated on the violin a huge variety of traditional and contemporary playing techniques. None of this was to the picture. We played the sections and discussed them as stimuli but we didn’t play / record in sync, we needed and wanted the flexibility of editing and manipulating afterwards.
Matthew: “The narrative of the two sections was important to get right, so I always had in mind where we were in the piece, how it would have to evolve and develop, stay in the same key as the piece is quite short and needed a sense of progression. The piece starts with the simple legato notes layered to mimic the emerging strands gradually gets more erratic, jumping into subtle dissonance, ending with an aggressive fast rubato ascending phrase. We didn’t want the Creative and Data sections to be so black and white / cliché. Creativity is rarely perfect, beautiful and awe-inspiring (definitely not at the same time) and Data / Technology is not only calculated, cold and geometric. Data is interpreted and created by humans and Creativity is often 90% grinding away and practicing at something and 10% woah that worked, look at that, we have to do that again next time!"
This is what we wanted to make sure we got across with the music and sound design. The nuance of the two different but parallel functions.
Music and sound design: Zelig Sound, Matthew Wilcock
Violin: Georgina Leach
Visuals: We Are Seventeen
Matt Simmonds / Telegraph Creative: Creative Dir.