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« Surfacing | Main | Never Eat Alone & Jury Duty Moleskine Sketches »

Music-Driven Moleskine Sketches

Ok, for whatever reason, I'm on some sort of sketching roll this week. Rather than hold today's sketches back, I'd like to share them right away:

Underworld & Brazilian Groove Music Sketches

(click the image above to see an enlarged version)

Left page: A sketch generated while listening to the song Cups from an electronica band Underworld's live from the Fuji Music Festival in Japan. I learned about Underworld from a post on Dan Stout's Manufactured Environments weblog in 2004 and have been enjoying these driving beats ever since (thanks Dan!). As you can see the textures of the song were rich and layered. I tried to continuously draw and capture how the music made me feel: complex, moody, deep but fast paced with a little feeling of echo.

Right page: This was another music-inspired sketch, based on very different music style than Underworld. Inspiration here was provided by the tune Consolacao, from the Brazilian Groove compilation, by Bossacucanova (as suggested to me by Michael Ashby). You can see a dominant bass line, represented as ripples in water or sound waves. Around that are impressionistic sketches of other instruments: guitar, piano, and vocals drawn continuously. This song was warm and bright, with rich bass line and of course fascinating Portuguese vocals.

This is a fun exercise allows your mind to interpret your impressions of favorite music in a visual way. I highly recommend this technique, especially if you want to sketch but have no idea what to sketch. All you need is music, paper, pen or pencil and a few minutes to sketch.

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Reader Comments (4)

Again, Mike, another fantastic idea. I'm a bit of an Underworld fan myself and I immediately saw what you'd done before I even read the post -- I just had to confirm that you'd written "underworld" at the top for the reason I thought you had!

Although I don't have some of their later stuff, you really should listen to "dubnobasswithmyheadman" from about 1993. A brilliant album.

Underworld are actually an incarnation of an 80s band that I was big into at the time called "Freur". They released only one, self-titled, album in the UK -- very hard to find on CD -- and I believe another in the US called "Get Us Outta Here". They were one of those well-respected but completely unsuccessful bands you often hear about. Very 80s sounding, but with the production values that went on to make Underworld famous.
February 2, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterNeal dench
Nice! I would think one would have to do that w/ a pencil? I imagine that inks would bleed through like crazy w/ a drawing like that.

February 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterChris Meisenzahl
Chris, actually I used a Pilot G2 0.7 pen on a Moleskine Pocket Sketchbook which has pretty thick paper stock. No bleedthrough whatsoever, amazingly.
February 6, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Thanks for the link. Yeah, I still really like Underworld—Second Toughest in the Infants and Beaucoup Fish being two of my favorite albums. I can see that 0.7 fine tip Pilot G2 was working well for you...Great sketch! Unfortunately the 0.5 extra fine doesn't have such a sweet ink flow.
February 20, 2006 | Unregistered CommenterDaniel Stout

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