Music videos generally begin with a song, which is then visually interpreted by a director, occasionally with some guidance from the musician. But what happens when every step of both the audio and visual components come alive together, in perfect concert from conception to completion? VANISH happens.
A collaboration between musician Davide Cairo and media artist Daniel Schwarz for Fabrica, VANISH derives from “mundane objects around the artists' environment,” which they utilized to create surreal environments, as well as sampling material for the musical component. Though what we see looks like a series of computer-generated sets with animation laid over it, these are actually physical environments—made using ice, porcelain, wood, metal, balsamic vinegar, and other materials—onto which visuals are projected.
Aurally, you can hear the plinking of porcelain and the tinny shuffling of ice as central sounds in the composition, which Cairo builds into a sentimental melody as dark and evocative as the visuals. Beyond their aesthetic complement, the two components are tied together in the most fundamental way. As the artists explain, “Through real-time sound analysis and a vast variety of algorithms, each sound finds its embodiment in different geometrical representations, depending on volume, pitch, note, and characteristic.” It’s like the two halves of “audio-visual” lost the hyphen and just collided right into each other.
Below, see a few images of how Schwarz built the environments in the video. You might be surprised as to what you’re actually looking at.