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When a graphic designer starts to make music | ONAKOM

Exciting patterns of sounds and animation algorithms line up to form systems – this is a unique synthesis of the drums, the bass, the colors, waves and other textures, in music and graphics all at once. Tamás Birinyi has been intrigued by music and the visual display of the same for a long time. As a graphic designer, he has already worked with many DJs and producers on cool projects, however, producing music only became a part of his life a little while ago. His first material was released under the name OMAKOM, with the title #flumesounds. We asked him about this project.

“Like for many others, music plays a central role in my life, too. It’s the best means of winding down, to immerse in moods and to rise up from them. I listen to many genres, and I listen to each for different reasons, in different moments, but of course I have my all time favorites that completely reflect who I am. These are quite rare, but it’s like those songs were written for me” – Tamás told us.

The graphic designer got completely hooked on the visual fields and surfaces related to music after the cassette and album covers designed for his high school graphics exam. He used to listen to a lot of music back then, too; in addition to album covers, flyers and music videos provided the best way for him to unfold his talents. For Tamás, the goal was to map and display the moods conveyed by the music from the very beginning. These many times had such a powerful impact on him that he created music videos and animations without being commissioned to do so, which turned out so good that since then, the majority of his works are related to music in one way or another.

His first really important and memorable project was the visual material of iamyank’s album titled Hiraeth. “I loved Yank‘s music very much already and I knew instantly when I received the enquiry that it would be one of the most important projects in my life. Keeping that in mind all along, I gave it all I had. Another incredible opportunity I got was the concert visual of EPROM. In the summer of 2019, I created portraits of the producers that influenced me a lot for an individual exhibition of mine, including American producer EPROM, to whom I sent the image I created of him without any underlying purpose whatsoever. Then he asked me if I wanted to make a few visuals for his new tour. Of course I did!” – Tamás told us.

The graphic designer knew he wanted to learn how to make music six years ago. imPro School played a key role in this, as Tamás had a chance to work with several producers who completed their studies there both as a graphic designer and a video artist. These producers included MongooseFerkoIalazBen LeavezZsüd and iamyank mentioned above, who is also the leading instructor in the school. “Owing to the exciting projects and good relationships I remained close to the school over the years, but I always postponed applying. In the meantime, in my own projects I became more and more intrigued by audiovisual installations, real-time animations and soon it became crystal clear after a few concert visual jobs that in addition to the visual part, I also wanted to produce the audio part. So everything really pointed to the same direction” – Tamás reminisces. 

Simultaneously to Tamás’ application to imPro, Grammy-winning producer Flume announced a re-sampling call featuring his own samples with the title #flumesounds, which turned out to be quite an obvious choice of topic for the graphic designer at his sampling exam. “Re-sampling is essentially a process consisting of using and editing existing audio samples or ones we recorded and placing them into a new context. Owing to the various sampling techniques, any sound or instrument can be produced from any given sound. You can make drums from the sound of rain, organs from dog barking or drums from organs. The task was to build something new out of the sounds already available, but not necessarily a musical composition. Out of sampling techniques, the operation of granular synthesis impressed me the most, in the course of which a scanner follows and processes the sound along with different algorithms and automatizations.” – Tamás told us.

The same as in the case of music, he also wanted to “re-sample” the original design in the case of the artwork, too. Even though the graphic designer is generally characterized by a darker, monochrome color palette, the vibrant, particularly colorful visual identity of #flumesounds designed by Jonathan Zawada is also echoed in the animation made by Tamás for the music in After Effects and Cinema4D.

“Making music is a learning process, an experiment with many errors and failures, but this is how it’s supposed to be. A new field, with new tools, and a new language. It’s all very exciting!” – Tamás added. Since he passed his exam at imPro, he has worked a lot on #flumesounds, as a result of which he is expected to release an EP this fall, which he’d like to present in a live show.

In addition to music, and of course keeping his graphic design practice, Tamás is currently working on album covers, animation music videos, various projects with advertising agencies, and recently he also got to participate in the background works of a Hungarian feature film, but there is also much to do in relation to his new music project…

“Music is another means of self-expression for me. In the case of an audiovisual installation or performance, the sounds and the visual form an integral unit together. Therefore I handle them as one, and I primarily plan to augment the dark, deep and textured spaces so characteristic of my works with sounds, somewhere between experimental sound design and musicality” – he added.

Tamás Birinyi | Behance | Facebook | Instagram
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