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In late 2015 Abstraxion contacted me about creating a visual show to accompany the live version of his upcoming album ‘She Thought She Would Last Forever’. Directly after the first listen of this beautiful album I was hooked and set about designing the visual concepts for the album.
There is urgency and hopefulness in Abstraxtion’s music. The song titles seem to be more on the dystopian end of things but the music itself has an optimism to it that really caught me. Many of the titles allude to a tension between expectation and reality – “She thought she would live forever”, “Just what I always wanted” and “An error occurred” – plans that failed, ambitions that went unfulfilled. The stuff of dystopia – failed ambitions, failed ideals. The goal with the visuals was to explore this duality in some way, whilst also encompassing aspects of the music such as; dreams, eternity, journeys and yearning.
Also included in the show were two music video’s commissioned by Abstraxion for the album. One for the track ‘Spazieren’, directed by The Bow was set in the stunning, snowy landscape of Iceland. The other, created for “She thought she would last forever” and Directed by Tarek Mawad and Friedrich van Schoor, was shot in a brooding forest with soft green and brown hues. Both videos speak strongly of the natural environment and were key to setting the overall tone of the visual show. Working with this basic idea of natural environments I developed an abstract story of transformation for these environments:
Nature (clean, calm) > collision of forces (destruction) > toxicity (contamination) > entropy (decay) > Adaptation (nature changing/morphing) > new landscapes. As the show develops the environments become increasingly mutated or abstracted, eventually evolving into new, imagined landscapes.
We had a one week residency at Cabaret Aleatoire to work intensively on the show together, perfecting the connection between audio and visual. We also had the opportunity to work with a lighting operator and design lighting concept to match with each section of the show. Below are photos of the working process during the residency and a short trailer for the live show.