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PURELY ICONIC / Music & Sound Design
Our biggest soundscape for a short film. 
Fourteen minutes of our sound philosophy.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
“Purely Iconic” 
Serial Cut celebrates its 20th anniversary with this audio-visual piece     

“To write a sound ecosystem that defines and enhances each of the characters and
   situations on this journey, via creation”. That was our commitment we got involved in 
      this professional and personal challenge.

/ Behind the Scenes /
Surrealism is based on using tangible and recognizable figures to create invented 
 and implausible situations. So we used the same foundation to work on the sound 
       in this piece. The sound effects had to give a tangible dimension to the visuals, 
       whilst the music detached it from all reality. 

       This duality has led us to a field of exploration in which we have mixed foley, sound
       design with synthesizers and strings, adding an indivisible and descriptive                           descriptive soundscape that merges to the image from which it has been created.

/ 9 Passages, 9 Soundscapes /​​​​​​​

Room 1 / Imagemakers
“A mystic cantata performed by synthesizers”.
Made up of multiple sheets of matte and glossy, colored recycled paper, Pholio feels complete, almost like a human being… but he’s not really human. Aside from a few complicated feelings 
of nostalgia because he wants to know more about his childhood as a tree, he lives fully in the present. 

His mood changes by recoloring his sheets to make them blue, orange or purple, but most of the time he loves to be multicolored. Unable to speak, his body language is his way of spreading his ideas. And every once in a while he loves to get printed, but with one catch: the imagery has to 
be appealing. Once again, music is an illusionary image made up of sound design and underwater melodies that come about as a consequence of Pholio’s movements. In this last scene we attempted to create an anti-climax.​​​​​​​

Room 2 / Renderoom
Tension and effort on the cords, to which multiply synthesizers glued to Boris' ink. An explosion 
of arpeggios, foley and rhythmic atmospheres that transport it to its own color zenit.

Room 3 / Typeblocks​​​​​
"Arcade electro garage music". 
We were inspired by the music of Ghosts 'n Goblins, Robocop and the Ramones while creating this lo-fi electro-garage fantasy. The musical theme of Kern Glyph/Typeblocks is inspired by old arcade games, from an electro and garage perspective. We wanted the music played on his game console to become the soundtrack of the whole sequence. It's been great fun messing around with synths and samplers from the 80's and 90's!

Room 4 / Wireframes​​​​​​
The concept of this scene was to explain through a song the story of The Wireframes: A band that has been polishing its sound for a really long time but never released anything and wanted to create a lot of hype with a smashing electro vocoder-pop single, half way between the 80s mainstream and experimental music, so they premiere it to the world in this first concert. The song becomes more tridimensional when the background visuals appear, which represent the renders Ray is executing from the band members. We also embedded UI sounds that would accentuate Ray’s programming process.

Room 5 / Process​​​​​​​
"Logic should come from the heart" P. Mondrian.
The soundscape "Process" is a musical illusion based on the sounds of an artistic experimentation laboratory, violins and organic textures create a descriptive and musical environment.

For this sequence we designed the “beeps” and acoustic signals inspired by sonars, servos and precise electromechanical devices. To illustrate the acoustic behavior of the weightless and dense ink we recorded ASMR texture with ceramic and cork objects. Little by little all of them are combined by matching their beat and distributing them along the frequency spectrum to create a clear and harmonic scape. Violins and cellos draw melodies over this landscape creating a crescendo along with a group of synthesizers, which add a rhythmic counterpoint, building a timbral bridge between music and sound effects.

Room 6 / Dioramas​​​​​​​
Despite his neo camouflage look, Ganganga was born in asphalt. Actually, he has never even been in the jungle. In his free time, he plays drums with “The Wireframes” but is equally passionate about creating dioramas. Once the hard work is done, he loves to destroy the set design in an act of catharsis of the creative process. He has the spirit of a rebel artist and rejects to keep the dioramas forever, as ‘forever’ is an affront to creativity. In the SC99 Film, Ganganga activates a diorama system containing some acclaimed projects from the studio… but will he destroy them as a neo iconoclast of this century?

Room 7 / Digitactile​​​​​​​
Lizzie was born blind but her mental strength permitted her to develop telekinesis, thus becoming a real hero to her childhood classmates, specially in Physics class. Her passion is flamenco dancing, but in her own unique style that mixes in some contemporary dance and voguing. For a period of time, she was in love with Kern Glyph, but the relationship didn't work out because he wasn't home at night. In the SC99 Film, Lizzie will perform a special flamenco-voguing dance moving around digital icons and converting them into real props.

Confident, calm and curious Vidia Ray recently graduated from the Hi-Res College at the top of her class scoreboard. A former arts sculptor, Ray has always been attracted to modeling real objects alongside virtual ones. With her love of vintage tech, she spends her free time secretly programming in the MS-DOS operating system. She's also into fashion, vintage or otherwise, but unfortunately her utilitarian boxy work uniform doesn't allow her to express her style as she would prefer. No dress to impress, at least not until the weekend. In the SC99 Film, Vidia will successfully solve some rendering issues to convert wireframes into digital icons.

Room 8 / Reelcycle​​​​​​​
All the main character's artistic ideas come together in this room and build up to an epic and cathartic occurrence. And the music had to do the same, so we generated sound drones mixing 
the melodies heard throughout the short, accompanied by strings tremolos and ethnic percussion 
to build a soundscape that pays tribute to the creative desire of human beings. The sound design includes breaths, liquids, glitches and industrial noises. The sound of the ink is generated by processing the music itself.

Room 9 / Icons​​​​​​​
Percussion, cords, mechanical sounds and synthesizers.

Our objective was to create music from mechanical and industrial noises (gears, metal crawls...), digital devices sounds (render machine user interface, glitches, errors and processing bars...) 
being apparently unconnected with each other. 

Gradually, they get aligned coordinating rhythmically and evolving together in a musical piece. 
At the kinetic climax of the sequence, the synthesizers sound emulates a spin that gets self absorbed after its own feedback cicle to show the observation momentum of the work created: 
"The Carousel".

From this moment, the violin music gets combined with a crane sound that extrudes syrup and then becomes the soundtrack. This sequence has supposed a big challenge for us. We have 
had to rethink our own melodic and musical perception and we have played to orchestrate with
inappropriate instruments of traditional orchestra. In this sequence, the crawls, gears, digital glitches, synthesizers, flamenco footwork dance and violins han been part of the same partiture. ​​​​​​​

Check out the soundtrack on Spotify

Title / Purely iconic
Client / Serial Cut
Work / Music & Sound Design

Executive Production: Serial Cut™
Creative Director: Sergio del Puerto & The SC Team
Director of Photography: Olmo Sobrino
Set Art Director: Javier Le Pera
Costume Designer & Stylist: Bartholot
Production: Miqui Navarro & Antonello Novellino
More info at sc99.net

PURELY ICONIC / Music & Sound Design

PURELY ICONIC / Music & Sound Design

Sound design with synthesizers and strings, adding an indivisible and descriptive soundscape that merges to the image from which it has been crea Read More


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