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Jack Featherstone & Kit Grill explore geometry in their abstract film ‘Signal’

Jack Featherstone and Kit Grill met 10 years ago whilst studying at Falmouth College Of Art in Cornwall and bonded over their mutual love of electronic music. From there they both moved to London to study graphic design at Chelsea College Of Art. This is their first collaboration since then.

Signal‘ is a meditative exploration of geometric form and colour. Set to Kit Grill’s minimalist musical composition, the piece moves through various transitions. As each animation moves in and out of focus, the complexcity of the form develops but maintains a distinct simplicity.

To find out more behind the concept behind ‘Signal’ we fired over some questions to Jack and Kit to answer.

"Some sequences run slightly longer than what 
most people might find comfortable" - Jack Featherstone

How did the two of you work together on this project? Was it a case of Jack creating the visuals separately in his studio, and for Kit to compose the music separately at his studio?

Jack: The project came about from some experiments that I was doing on my own, creating these short animation sequences. I showed them to Kit, he liked them so we decided to make a film together.

Kit went off and composed something on his own after we had discussed some ideas. Once I had his music I started putting the film together. The animations in the film are just a small selection from my experiments, I chose ones that best suited Kit’s composition, so the music and visuals sort of influenced each other.

Kit: As Jack said really! he sent me the experiments and then I started making stuff and then it was back and forth exchanging ideas until the it felt like the film was done.

"Add and subtract sounds until the music can survive 
on as little as possible." - Kit Grill

Kit I’m interested to hear how you went about scoring the music for ‘Signal’, can you expand on your approach and initial ideas for the score?

Kit: I approached it like any other track really, add and subtract sounds until the music can survive on as little as possible. I knew Jacks visuals were pretty minimal so it had to suit the aesthetics too. Initial ideas were to do something more abstract but as the animation developed it became more about doing something really simple to match the image. A bit of delay always helps too.

Jack can you tell us about the aesthetic you’ve chosen for the video – it reminds me of BBC Two’s colour ident from 1967.

Jack: I’ve never actually seen this ident, but its really nice! The warm glow that you find on old colourful idents like this certainly played a role in the aesthetic of the piece.

For me this film is a meditation on form and colour. I wanted to create a sense of space to allow focus on the shapes. By processing the animations I was able to achieve some pleasing results like colour bleeding and grain that I feel help to draw the eye in and rest on the forms.

This film is an indulgence for me as its just something I wanted to do for myself, so some sequences run slightly longer than what most people might find comfortable. I made the film like this because I enjoy looking at it.

"I wanted to create a sense of space to allow focus on the shapes."
- Jack Featherstone

What do you both feel that you have learnt from ‘Signal’?

Jack: Not sure really. Maybe that it would be nice to work on something else together at some point?

Kit: Yeah It would be good to work on something else again

Do you plan to continue exploring Geometry in other films and music or are you both moving onto work on other projects?

Jack: I think it will be hard for me to ever escape the use of geometry in my work, its kind of fundamental.

Kit: I’m working on new stuff at the moment to hopefully release soon.

> WATCH ‘SIGNAL’ ON VIMEO

Discover more about Jack Featherstone and Kit Grill on Inverted Audio.

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