From Psyop’s Marie Hyon:
Marco and I went to Berlin a few years ago, in the winter and saw this very powerful thing, we saw a flock of black birds flying around the Postdommer Platz before it was built. It was the coolest thing.
A few months later, MTV asked us to create some bumpers for their new channel mtvHD. The brief was to make something cool, related to music and high def in detail. Other than that they kept it really open. That’s when we panicked. Shit, no parameters at all? We can do ANYthing?
Then, we were listening to music while cooking something and Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata” came on. We immediately knew this was it. It was so beautiful. The piano played so clearly, it painted a picture for us. We thought what if you can SEE music, this track. What would this track look like?
We knew what it would look like? It would look like the moment we saw the birds and the birch forest in Germany. At htat moment sound and visuals came together to form something in our minds that must have tapped into our sub-consciousness. It made us believe the marriage was perfect. We wondered if Beethoven somehow channeled birds in flight when he scored the piece or if we were reminiscing about Berlin and the bird experience. Perhaps it was the collective subconscious mind, or I don’t know, maybe we’re just tripping out. But we felt strongly that we could not see it any other way.
Birds are such lyrical creatures. They have such a complex structure to them. The wings are made up of many feathers and each feather has hundreds of keratin that looks like hair. They can expand and contract their
form, and in their movements they can be very dynamic, from the energetic lift off of the ground to the smooth and soaring flight. Their range is tremendous. In our minds, that was the link. To see each note resonate with a flight of a bird amongst the trees.
MTV used to be all about music videos, the art form of visualizing music. We felt that they departed from that idea and needed to go all the way back. Our piece should represent the purest idea of visualized music. Beethoven is not exactly something that MTV would play, but for us, it represented a pure piece of music. We see patterns in his music, dissonances and consonances, areas of density, something is forming and dissolving, it begin with a simple pattern that breaks apart to a bit of chaos then it resolves again to same pattern — something our ears are very happy about.
The challenge for us was to translate this acoustic beauty into images. Like music is build out of patterns and notes arranged in a certain way. We tired to build images out of small elements. Over time, they would arrange themselves and create a form — just temporary, until the form dissolves again into chaos. The tension between those moments keep you interested, hopefully.
We worked with Dragen from Q department to alter the music to create our own version of “Moonlight sonata.”