MISSA UNIVERSALIS – A Fractal Animation Movie

This movie project came about through a chance encounter. I contacted Mathias Grassow as a fan because I had recently heard his songs Ocean of Tenderness / In the Gardens of Eternity on the Electronic Pioneers channel of Digital Imported (di.fm). It just so happens that Ocean of Tenderness has a similar chord progression to a song that I composed years ago called Going Away (that specific progression starts at about 1:15 into the song). Aside from that one chord progression, the songs are completely different.

Long story short, I told him that I am a digital artist who specializes in fractal art and asked if he would like to see my work. He told me he did. So, I gave him the link to this blog and also gave him the link to a short fractal animation that I set to an excerpt of Anthony Rother’s Elixir of Life that I called Morphnotized. I had obtained permission from Anthony to use that excerpt despite the fact I had no intention of monetizing the video. Mathias seemed impressed and gifted me three random albums of his to inspire me to create fractals for each. Upon seeing the fractals that I created for Missa Universalis, Short Stories and Natives & Origins, we discussed creating a video.

I told him that I was up to the challenge and began working on it in mid-to-late January. There were a couple of technical issues early on and we had to make some compromises, but I got it done . . . on March 3, 2022. Did I mention that Mathias is such a wonderful person and ever so patient? Well, let me assure you that he is both of those things! Not only did he wait over a month for the final product in which much of that time was spent waiting for the 5772 frames to render, but also encouraged me as well as accepted the compromises. He has also given me some freebies as compensation. We talked about compensation at the beginning and I said, “Though I could use the income, I am not sure what to charge for doing something that I love to do.” We have worked it out and are both happy.

If you enjoy the music, please visit Mathias’s Bandcamp shop. If you like the fractal animation, please consider subscribing to my blog. While I do not post every day, I like to hope that my posts are worth the wait. Also, many of my works are available on a variety of media through my Redbubble shop.

Without further ado, here’s the 8+ minute animated movie! Please watch full screen at 1080p! Thanks!

Oh, one more thing . . . Please also be sure to visit Mathias’s YouTube channel (simply click on the text that appears at the top of the embedded video) and like the video there too. Mathias deserves credit too as, without being inspired by his music, this animation would not have been possible.

MISSA UNIVERSALIS – A Fractal Animation Movie
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Liana of Spirits – Rank of Souls

Liana of Spirits – Rank of Souls was Mathias Grassow’s first album released in 2022. Through a number of instruments and rhythm, it takes the listener on a journey through the importance of the Ayahuasca experience to many natives of South America and other parts of the world. It is a rite of passage for many cultures. While Mathias did not use Ayahuasca in the making of the album, the musical “sessions” portray various aspects of the journey. Although the journey is different for everyone, the titles of the “sessions” allow one to glimpse some commonalities of the experience.

Basing the colors of the fractal with those found in the cover art, I attempted to portray both the ranks of souls and levels of the experience. I listened to the album as I was creating the fractal as I always have for these because I want the fractal to truly be inspired by the music. As usual, the fractal was created with JWildfire and the “starry” background was done during post-processing in Photoshop.

Lichtwerk

Lichtwerk is a magnificent album by Mathias Grassow with percussive rhythm elements in several tracks. According to Mathias, it depicts the mythological “seasons” of life. While the music is upbeat and energetic at times, it tends to inspire calm and focus as well as a sense of awe.

As with most of my other fractals that were inspired by music, this one incorporates a color palette based on those found in the cover art. I got immediate “pings” on a couple of transformations to use as I started working on this fractal while listening to the album. The final product is a true work of light thanks to color palette and the use of darker colors to add contrast.

Cascading Rosespirals

A beautiful album with both melodic and percussive elements interspersed between both organic and very unique drone sounds, Mathias Grassow’s Cascading Rosespirals inspires calm and focus. Yet, underneath it all, there seems to be something haunting about it. The music pulls you into another world and begs repeat listening.

The fractal inspired by the music uses a palette based on the colors in the album’s cover art. Though not entirely intentional, the fractal has hints of rose-like elements in its composition. Honestly, the “floor” of the fractal came out a bit darker in this render than it appeared in the preview. I will likely make some adjustments when I do the high resolution version and possibly even post a “remastered” wallpaper sized version. The textured background was added in post processing and also used a color based on such found in the cover art.

AeroAreA

Mathias Grassow’s AeroAreA is a fantastic album! I feel like a space explorer in a sci-fi movie when I listen to it. It definitely gives me a sense of adventure and awe. I knew when I first heard it that I had to do a fractal inspired by it. This is the first fractal I created after completing the fractal animation movie in collaboration with Mathias. It might just get its own animated short down the road.

I know the centerpiece is a bit busy. So, don’t get lost in there! Though this fractal includes colors inspired by the cover, I was so excited to start working on a new fractal that I forgot to actually pull the palette from the colors on the cover. I don’t think Mathias minded though as he told me that he liked it.

Natives & Origins

This third base fractal that I used for the fractal animation movie in collaboration with Mathias Grassow was inspired by his Natives & Origins album. As with the first two, the color palette was based on the colors found in the covert art for that album. Natives & Origins inspires a sense of adventure and wonder. The album has some melodic elements played on wood flute and tuned percussion (possibly glockenspiel). Mathias seems to have access to some unusual instruments. So, even though they sound similar, the actual instruments might be something else altogether. I quite enjoy how he seamlessly integrates acoustic instruments with his synthesizers. It gives his electronic music a more organic feel.

Regarding the fractal, I was originally going to use the red and green sections as the centerpiece. Then, the purple part “lit up”! I said to myself, “I have a new centerpiece!”

Short Stories

The second base fractal used in the fractal animation movie I made in collaboration with Mathias Grassow. It was inspired by Mathias’s Short Stories album. Once again, the fractal’s palette is based on the colors found in that album’s cover art. Short Stories evokes a sense of wonder and is very powerful at times. I think the album is more about the journey than the places you stop along the way.