Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Mirrororrim: Sound Design for Animation

Originally presented at Cellular Cinema’s showcase “The Double” in 2015, "Mirrororrim" responded to the thematic brief of the evening: to create work on the themes of ”double exposures, doppelgangers, mirroring and twins."

John Akre presented me with finished animation to score, and I strove to create a soundscape both as rough-hewn and systematically intricate as the visuals. I sought to evoke reflection, symmetry, and palindrome in the sound design of the piece.

Involving even more frame by frame analysis than I’m used to in an animation project, my process punned on the classic "mirroring" technique used in cartoon music by matching imagery and sounds directly. I strove to evoke a world of potential lurking just beyond the boundaries of the frame.

Early in the piece, the majority of visual gestures rely on small, repetitive/ reflective shapes in motion. I often flipped a brief audio sample backwards and butted it up against its forward counterpart to accompany these symmetrical visual gestures with sonic palindrome. Hence, I mirrored visual events with sounds which contained mirrored elements within them. A hall of mirrors, if you will.

Later on the visuals become more chaotic, and the sound design comes unglued to match. But I pursued similar palindrome strategies there as well, though it might not be quite as apparent…

And while I was interested in conceptual integrity, I was guided more by the potential for visceral enjoyment. Which is what I hope you have while watching this piece!

More sound + music by Mike Hallenbeck for animation

Mike Hallenbeck home page + contact

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