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Home » Artists, Featured Videos, Strange and Weird, Videos

Richard James face encoded into his music

Submitted by on February 26, 2010 – 11:26 am One Comment

Richard James (aka Aphex Twin) has always been at the top of my ‘most creative musicians’ list. It seems as though everything he does pushes the bounds of music and art. Even his album images are creative (and sometimes very weird), with James doing much of his own photography. (“Come to Daddy“) is a good example.

Here’s something quite amazing that speaks to his crazy mind: Near the end of track #2 (often referred to as “Equation”) on Windowlicker, an actual photo of Richard James’ demonic face is embedded right in the audio, in such a way that you would only see it if you looked at the audio with a spectrograph:

Now, how many people would actually be looking at the music through spectrograph software? (I’m not talking about just the waveform, a spectrograph deconstructs the audio and plots it in a frequency/time format). The track is actually called “ΔMi−1 = −∂Σn=1NDi[n][Σj∈C{i}Fji[n − 1] + Fexti[n−1]]” on the track list, implying a Fourrier transform. This may actually be a clue to people to take a look at the frequency makeup of the audio.

Here’s a video of the plot of the entire song (You’ll have to skip to around 5:20 to see this), there are other images embedded in there as well throughout the song:

How’s that for strange? I guess it’s just par for the course for Aphex twin though. Doing this is actually relatively easy to do, and there is software out there such as Coagula that will allow you to transform a picture into audio.

As it turns out, some other bands have done the same sort of thing, such as Plaid’s “3recurring” from “Rest Proof Clockwork” :

And my absolute favorite, here is a screencap of part of of Venetian Snares’ “Look” from “Songs about my Cats”:


(thanks to bastwood)

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