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Matthewdavid’s “Unfolding Atlantis” Video is a Deep Sea Dream

Feel the relaxation in Adam Ferriss' music video for a song described by its composer as his own “ambient opus.”
March 25, 2016, 12:15pm
All photos by Theo Jemison, courtesy of Matthewdavid

If you’re in need of some psychic relaxation or some new meditation music (who isn’t?), then today’s your lucky day, because we've got the new video for Matthewdavid's “Unfolding Atlantis,” a 13-minute track off his new ambient album, The Trust and the Guide, out on Leaving Records on March 25. Directed by Adam Ferriss, the video is an abstract, psychedelic dive into the deep blue.

According to Matthewdavid, “Unfolding Atlantis” was a sort of homage to by Michael Stearns’ Planetary Unfolding, the 1981 “cosmic holy grail of new age space music.” While he was conceiving the track, he was also reading the Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, and Rudolf Steiner’s essays on Atlantis and Lemuria for inspiration.

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“Infatuated by the legends of Atlantis in particular, and Stearns’ masterpiece in heavy rotation, I sculpted the sonic scenery conceptualized around nebulous, aqua-infused tones and textures, synthesizers in the key of hope, tickling nuances reminiscent of watery waves, and a particularly crafted sound-texture to resemble an advanced species of dolphin,” Matthewdavid tells The Creators Project.

Director Adam Ferriss developed the video's visual style with the help of descriptive writing by Matthewdavid.

“I received the track in its already completed state, so for me it was a matter of figuring out how to best augment the sound. I made an app in openframeworks that has about 10 different sliders for varying controls. I like to try and suss out individual sounds of a track and assign each of them a parameter. I defined one for camera speed, a few different color sliders, mesh displacement, and so on,” Ferriss explains.

After creating the app, he experimented with the visuals by tweaking the app’s parameters live with the music. Once he became familiar with the song, he recorded multiple versions of the live visuals, eventually picking the one that felt right for the video you see today.

“For Matthew, and lot of the other artists he's brought me on to work with, I like to record everything in one take, in real time. I think doing things this way can give you a sense of unpredictability, creative error, and spontaneity, that is sort of impossible to capture in keyframe animation,” he says.

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Watch the full video below, but first, make sure you’re ready to feel really, really relaxed.

Listen to more of Matthewdavid’s music on SoundCloud, and see more of Adam Ferriss’ work on his website.

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