I have been exploring the idea of creating animated videos to accompany music made on my instruments. You can see the results so far here.

My approach has been the reverse of the more common approach in which music is made to accompany the moving image; the thought in this case is to start from the music and create visuals to accompany it. My efforts in this direction have followed two paths. First, I set out to find an animator to work with whose skills and style would be well suited to the purpose. Second, I got hold of some animation software and set about learning to use it myself (albeit in a rudimentary way).

In my search for an animator I got very lucky: I found may way to Cory Sheldon of Cory Sheldon Creative. He happens to be blessed with an exquisite visual imagination and sense of how things move, and he’s been a pleasure to work with too. As for my own efforts at learning animation skills… well, all I can say is, I’m doing my best. At the time of this writing, four pieces have been created, two done with Cory and two by myself alone.

My original fantasy was to simply hand pieces of music played on my instruments to several animators and say: let your imagination run wild! And I still have that fantasy. But good animation is labor intensive, and a project like that would have been quite a serious undertaking financially as well as in other ways, so it has remained a pipe dream. Instead, to make it feasible to work with a skilled animator while keeping things modest and manageable, my approach has been to do as much of the work as possible myself, while leaving the animation and much of the visual imagination to Cory. Specifically, my approach has been to provide Cory with with drawings to animate, and a few broad ideas about what to do with them, along with the music. He has then taken it from there. When you see the results you’ll see why I feel fortunate to have made the connection with him. Meanwhile, for my own animations, I’ve tried to develop visuals that reflect the spirit of the music without requiring too much in the way of animation skills — an interesting challenge.

Most visitors to my website and my youtube channel are looking for instrument-making ideas and information; I don’t think that animations are what they’re primarily after. Indeed, this whole animation enterprise can be seen as something of a vanity project. I hope you’ll enjoy the animations nonetheless. My hope is to keep at it through the production of at least a few more pieces, so stay tuned; I’ll be posting more as time goes by. 

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