Thundercat’s mini-album The Beyond / Where the Giants Roam came out a year ago today, and to commemorate the occasion, he’s released a video for “Song Of The Dead” that was directed and animated by Ryan McShane. It follows the avant-jazz musician on a galactic journey and prominently features a pack of wolves. McShane elaborated on how the collaboration came about in a statement.
I was born in 1995, the year Kids came out and Jerry Garcia passed away, and I’ve been drawing ever since.
15 years later I dropped out of high school to spend a couple of years indoors, drawing in my room. One night in August 2013, I drew a fake cover for Captain Murphy’s ‘Between Villains’. I posted it to Twitter and the villain himself retweeted it, and so did Thundercat.
Thundercat and I started chatting over Twitter after that – fast forward to 2015, I’m working at digital ventures practice Josephmark and motion studio Breeder, and making pictures and music on the weekends.
Then ‘Where The Giants Roam’ drops, I’m nearing the end of a two week break where I’ve been spending indoors, drawing in my room. When I heard ‘A Song For The Dead’, this part – 1:49 – gave me the idea to animate. I wanted to animate this few seconds of a transformation as the sound spins around in stereo. But I had a few days free, so I decided to block out a full video. Super rough, black and white, with NASA footage backgrounds – I had a bunch on hand that I found whilst researching for Breeder’s The Expanse titles – and then I just sent it to Thundercat.
He loved it. So I was locked into it now, my first big solo animation. Naturally, the way I work, I made it even harder for myself – adding colours and extra seconds. Shout out to Breeder co-worker Alex Gee for suggesting I add colour.
Six months later, I’m backstage at Thundercat’s show in Brisbane. Talking about art and Kendrick, drinking Hendricks.
The Beyond / Where The Giants Roam is out now via Brainfeeder.