Porkanisms (Time Based Arts / E4)

9th October 2019

I composed music and voiced/foleyed/produced the soundtrack for this weird but amazing ident by Time Based Arts.

It was a privilege to work with them – their directors and production team combine ambition discipline with fierce creativity. Their brief for the soundtrack was distorted beats and grunting animals in huge, weird spaces.

Music

I crushed the drums using a custom valve distortion box built for me by Theo Argiriadis, an analogue electronics engineer in North London. Theo hand-builds bespoke hi-fi equipment, beautiful guitar amps, and unique effects boxes (on his website, mine’s the “AAE Valve Distortion Unit”). Keyobards were aged by being taped on an old 4-track cassette recorder while I wobbled the tape speed, then re-digitised and edited to fit the music.

The arrangement was developed against the animation as it was in production – the scary drones match the enormity of the floating rocks and the E4 logo itself.

Sound

I voiced the creatures’ squeaking and sniffing, and treated them with pitch/formant shifting.

I used two different reverbs, panned left and right, to suggest a huge, complicated space.

The neon intestines in the energy teat were soundtracked with recordings of my Mum’s fluorescent kitchen light.

Elements of the sound effects become musical (I played a little melody with the fluorescent light), and I used musical elements as sound effects (EG a drum fill in place of spot FX when the porkanism lays its eggs).

The whole process was ridiculously enjoyable.