Digital artist Claudia Rafael utilises text-to-image GAN animation to create an angelic infinite zoom through a dreamy take on IDM-inflected electro from Robert Dietz.

Producer and sound designer Robert Dietz and digital artist Claudia Rafael are close friends, in fact, they live next door to each other. When the time came for Dietz to think about visualising the sounds of Schnups, his debut EP for Live At Robert Johnson, Rafael was the obvious choice, but not just because they happen to be neighbours. Swallowing Tubes is a profound testament to the strength of their creative partnership, showcasing a stunning marriage of sound and image that seems to work at a molecular level. Drawing inspiration from the dreamy pads and transcendent arpeggios of Dietz’s track, Rafael set her sights on the heavens, using a text-to-image GAN (generative adversarial network) to create an infinite zoom through a lysergic landscape of heavenly bodies.

Robert Dietz

“While listening to the song, I tried to put my feelings into words and fed the A.I. with these,” explains Rafael. “It felt like flying through an otherworldly digitopia. There’s a certain beauty in the track but also a rough counterpart. From these ideas I defined the look and the A.I. created these abstract shapes, flying through an infinite zoom.” Clouds, wings, trees and sky morph and shift into one another, refracted through technicolour light. Responding in kind to the track’s swells of synthesis, our infinite zoom through this landscape is occasionally interrupted, lurching us back to a macro view of a world built on top of Rafael’s written response to Dietz’s sounds.

“Unfortunately I can’t say exactly what the actual inspiration for it was, because I tend to be guided by feelings and momentary images,” says Dietz of the track. “The best things happen when you can let yourself go and forget everything around you, the machines are running and you just record. That was the case with this piece of music. The chord progressions on this track are very dreamy, have an IDM aesthetic but the 303 bassline creates the hypnotic feel. I also used a microphone to record myself and my room running back and forth between the machines while working on it.”

Robert Dietz

“I would say that the track totally reflects me as a musician and producer,” continues Dietz. “Although I’m constantly trying out new ideas and aesthetics, because I get easily bored, everything takes place in the electronic universe, either for the club or for home pleasures. About two years ago I started working for visual projects too, when friends of mine needed music and sound for their animations and productions for fashion brands. It’s great when you combine your music with the visual ideas of others and when you are able to give more depth to images and intensify emotions.”

‘Swallowing Tubes’ is taken from Schnups, out now on Live At Robert Johnson. For more information about Robert Dietz and his music you can follow him on Instagram and check out his sound design studio, Studio Teiwas.

For more information about Claudia Rafael and her work, you can follow her on Instagram and visit her website. Swallowing Tubes is up for auction as an NFT on Foundation now.

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