I have always been interested in the relationship between music and design culture. I realised just what a profound impact music and musicians had on my life in April 1994. I can vividly remember the moment I found out Kurt Cobain died. For a moment it felt like the world stopped spinning. By the late ‘90s and into the new millennium I was dancing to electronic house and drum and bass music until the early hours of the morning as many nights a week as my budget and academic pursuits would allow. Music has always played a defining role in my identity. And I am more likely to remember an event or time in my life by the music I was listening to than by any numeric signifier. Like many designers I draw a lot of inspiration from musicians, lyrics, melodies and beats. My design studio and print pavilion workspaces are always alive with music. I create visually while appreciating audibly.

As a catalyst for creation and conversation in the Typograph.Journal and to explore the music and design relationship further I invited design professionals I admire to visually respond to a piece of music. The brief was to relate to a word, phrase or theme from the narrative of the lyrics — visually responding to verbal language not necessarily using visual language. Alternatively, to explore the composition, tone and rhythm of the piece, using illustrative or typographic mediums.

For the debut volume I selected “Rings and Chains” by Amanda Shires.

(You can use the play bar above to listen to this excellent track)...

I chose this song because of its visually expressive lyrics, cross- pollination of typographic vernacular and striking thematic concerns, all of which I thought would make it great graphic folly. The verbal language deals with themes of; union & division, movement, light & dark, void, legacy, reflection, shadow, scale, tone, progression, hard & soft, shade, brightness and geometry.

In Volume01 Local talents Sabine Pick, Bobby Haiqalsyah, (created the beautiful shadow response featured above), Kusalta Shrestha, and Dominique Falla all contributed beautiful and inventive pieces of artwork as responses to Amanda's musical arrangement and lyrics. In each subsequent volume of the journal we will explore this intersection between musical and visual disciplines by selecting a new track for inspiration, with a fresh round of creative talent to use the track as their folly.

Visual response to 'Rings and Chains' by Sabine Pick

Visual response to 'Rings and Chains' by Sabine Pick