Last month Inventions, the collaboration between Eluvium's Matthew Cooper and Explosions in the Sky's Mark T. Smith, released the first single from Maze of Woods, the follow-up to their 2014 self-titled album on the label Temporary Residence. To create a music video for the single, entitled "Springworlds," the duo went to animator Dan W. Jacobs to purposefully pursue an intensely collaborative process.
The video follows a lone character who is drawn away from his home into the outside world, then confronted with a massive storm. Inventions' atmospheric intonations wash over the viewer like the shimmering, animated rain washes over the featureless protagonist, creating an almost synesthetic synergy between the music and the visuals.
The natural interaction between sight and sound is due in part to the synergy that developed between Jacobs, Cooper, and Smith. "The collaboration began as an exchange of thoughts, feelings and responses to the track," Jacobs recalls to The Creators Project. Cooper and Smith happened to be working along the coast of Oregon when they were recruiting filmmakers for the new video. Cooper says they were going through a lineup of "a bunch of cool artists, but Dan just stood out. He immediately felt so natural of a fit for us."
The team felt so natural working together that they decided to forgo a storyboard entirely and work spontaneously with one another to drive the story: "To be able to bounce off the band’s reactions and our impulses as production progressed kept what can sometimes be a very drawn-out process fresh and exciting," Jacobs explains.
As it turns out, the sonic duo were predisposed for this kind of freeform animation process: "In the way I want to think of music, I can see a huge amount of similarity with animation," Smith tells The Creators Project. "I want to feel anything can happen—details can blip in and out, things can loop, colors can shift in ways they can't in real life. I love the literally endless freedom of that style of creation."
Maze of Woods will be available in stores and for digital download on March 17, 2015. Until then, get your Inventions fix by watching the video for Springworld above, and checking out some stills from the animation below.
Visit Inventions' Facebook page for more updates on Maze of Woods.