Bass Drones Become a Moving Sound Sculpture in ‘Vellum’

This is not a bass drop.

Listen to any Autechre or Boards of Canada album and you’ll know what it’s like when artists design sound recordings in an almost three-dimensional way. A trip into a rainforest presents a more spatially and physically sonic three-dimensional variant of this experience. With Vellum, Berlin-based art director Vishal Shah creates a moving sound sculpture that looks like a colorful 3D version of Peter Saville’s Unknown Pleasures album sleeve mixed with the ocean’s deep, mountainous topographies.

The source of Vellum’s sound is the improvised, drone-like double bass play of Eduardo Rodriguez. 3D specialist and technician Rob Rauchfuss and 3D artist and compositor Peter Kienetz turned Benjamin Alejandro’s recording of Rodriguez’s double bass drones into 3D animations. With some clever editing, Vellum becomes a mesmerizing work to see and hear.

“Projected 2D double images are aesthetically 3D extruded and in constant rotation,” Shah explains. “The plateau of each extrusion is either hidden or limited, holding and composing the pictorial plane. Movements are fast and slow turning into sculptural islands to the sound of an improvised double bass.”

Vellum is beautiful in detail and timely in each movement,” he adds. “Everything is concealed and only the end reveals the true story.”

Click here to see more of Vishal Shah’s work.


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