Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Silent Ballet

(please click for larger view)

this was a pretty big deal for me.
For years now, The Silent Ballet has been devoted to writing, reviewing, exposing, and celebrating the best in instrumental and experimental music; part of this includes curating underrated or unsigned, instrumental artists to be a part of their free downloadable compilation series.

well, i was contacted by them to submit a song, a very humbling and left field honor, to which my response was "could i also please do the artwork?!"

the cover stemmed from my feelings towards ambient and drone (the loose theme of this 16th volume in the series):
if percussion and punctuation is a dot, then at first i wanted to explore the resonance and space between the points, to "represent the others implied" (hence, the ambassador etc. moniker). later i wanted to extend that dot to create a line, blurring points of origin or reference. now i wonder if it is possible to make points radiate outward, like a dandelion made of layers and walls, waiting to be wished upon and blown, and lost to the dense fog of 'gorgeous noise'.

you can download the record for free HERE.
it comes with a nice press release about everyone involved as well

you can read more about ambassador etc. HERE, or listen to a few more tracks HERE

thank you for looking and listening!

4 comments:

Alicia Neal said...

Peter, this is really quite beautiful. The design is so engaging, i could just get lost in it. Phenomenal work dude.

Chogrin said...

So gorgeous & congratulations brother! What phenomenal project for you to be a part of. I don't wan to steal any magic, but how did you make this Illustration happen?

pw! said...

thank you both for the kind words, it means a great deal to me i assure you. i really thought it was a fun direction for me to goof around in, and i'm kind of proud of the whole thing, which is something you will almost never hear me say

Joe, there's no magic buddy, i wish now i took the time to export progress jpgs but the whole thing was just a day swimming around so to speak.

i knew what i wanted to say about the music (hence my embarrassing pretentious dissertation on music), and i knew the thing had to say "the silent ballet volume 16". so i knew i would just make this sort of cross hairs shape with the text (just plain ol' boring Helvetica, nothing fancy there either) and i knew that from there with some skewing in Illustrator i could begin visualizing the "walls of sound" i wanted to not so much as knock down, but rather, well, bloom.

so i "nudged" the pieces of my text circle like people play video games for an hour or three, and exported it into a 5x10 photoshop file, where i began duplicating, enlarging, rotating, and nudging the walls behind to have it spread more.

then i just sifted through textures i've amassed over the years. they're available on-line, but you run the risk of repeating yourself or someone else, so whenever you get the chance, scan in some gross paper, or take a photo of a gnarly wall, etc. you can always change the colors (apple+U) and you can always play with the layer style (multiply, overlay, soft light, color burn), opacity, and erase, etc...as i did here. i think this piece has 12-15 layers of textures with various effects, no joke. i think the hope is to layer so many things, like the music, that it all becomes a unique fog where the origins are no longer recognizable.

sorry for the long response!

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