Web

Web: We chat to the brains behind beautiful animated music procrastination site Patatap

Posted by Maisie Skidmore,

If you haven’t yet found yourself clicking waywardly through to Patatap only to while away several hours idly composing beautiful melodies and weirdly syncopated rhythms when you were meant to be working towards that deadline, then frankly I don’t know what you’ve been doing. We found the website a little while back, but little did we know at the time that it was created by the spectacular mind of Jono Brandel who was also responsible for Anitype, or that it would swiftly be used to create some incredibly elaborate pieces which spread like wildfire online.

Intrigued by the brain behind our new musical, animated procrastination tool, we caught up with Jono to find out a bit more. Watch the film above for an insight into how the program works!

What do you consider Patatap’s role to be?

Up to the point of making the film I had been modelling Patatap similarly to a musical instrument, and now I think of it like an acoustic guitar, in that it enables a person to become a musician. It won’t inherently make you a rockstar, but the potential is there; it’s a catalyst to perform. Like the acoustic guitar, Patatap is a potential piece in the corpus of expression, but it’s not the entire suite. There isn’t the ability to loop or record, though other developers have built on top of the code in order to achieve this. But in spite of this, here are people expressing themselves through Patatap.

  • 2

    Jono Brandel: Patatap, directed by Gabriel Gomez & Julien Melendez

What made you decide to make Patatap available on iOS?

In addition to the public reception I’ve received hundreds of emails, ranging from I.T. help to get Patatap running on their machine, through to feature requests like the record and loop functionality, to “where can I buy the samples?” and “how can I support you guys?” Up until today we would direct people to Lullatone’s other albums, and previous posters I had made as a means to support us, but we’re interested in exploring more frictionless ways to support this collaboration. If people are emailing us asking to send money, then we’ve done something wrong.

Based on the analytics, less than 20% of people visit on a tablet or smartphone, so in the interest of our own sustainability and exploring new avenues I decided to port Patatap to iOS. We set the price for 99¢ to enable people to support us. For this donation you receive an offline version of the project that runs faster than the online version on iOS devices.

It’s been a lot of fun for us messing around, because you can also play Patatap over your iTunes library or other audio, which adds a different dynamic to the interaction. You can still play on the website for free though, and we think this is an honest trade for what we believe is art in the digital age.

  • 1

    Jono Brandel: Patatap, directed by Gabriel Gomez & Julien Melendez

How did the film about Patatap come about?

Shortly after the public release I got in contact with Crooked Letter Films. They were inspired by the site and wanted to contextualize Patatap in real life situations through a short film. After figuring out logistics we came up with a simple script and reference imagery. As someone who works primarily with digital goods seeing a project enter the real world is really appealing and foreign.

Through these initial discussions it occurred to me that this is an opportunity to share some more personal tidbits about the project and my background. I immediately thought of Gray Area, an Arts + Technology non-profit, who gave me the first opportunity to showcase a very early version of Patatap in July 2012. Gray Area continued their generosity by offering up their new home, an historic theatre in San Francisco’s Mission District to work. In the film this is the empty space that Patatap fills.

When I saw the first edit the fleeting nature of digital became apparent. Discouraging as it may sound, the video actually lifted my spirits, because it’s a humbling interpretation of the project. In a time where technologies change so rapidly, the film is its own artefact and has the potential to endure much longer than the website.

  • 1-big

    Jono Brandel: Patatap, directed by Gabriel Gomez & Julien Melendez

  • 2

    Jono Brandel: Patatap, directed by Gabriel Gomez & Julien Melendez

  • 3

    Jono Brandel: Patatap, directed by Gabriel Gomez & Julien Melendez

  • 4

    Jono Brandel: Patatap, directed by Gabriel Gomez & Julien Melendez

Ms-300

Posted by Maisie Skidmore

Assistant Editor Maisie joined It’s Nice That fresh out of university in the summer of 2013 and has stayed with us ever since. She has a particular interest in art, fashion and photography and is a regular on our Studio Audience podcast. She also oversees our London listings guide This At There.

Most Recent: Animation View Archive

  1. List

    Contrary to popular belief, libraries can be wildly fun and psychedelic places if you’ve got the right tools to work with. Here and willing to help me prove my point are Tord Torpe and Magnus Nyquist, who created an animation to this end. Entitled KHIB Biblioteket after the library at their school, Bergen Academy of Art and Design in Norway, the animation sees a bandy-legged gent wandering absent-mindedly up to his library door, only to be thrown head first into a world of Memphis-inspired jumping shapes, swirling perspectives, fast-paced bright flashing colours and lights and morphing letterforms. It’s an incredibly ambitious project for a pair of students and happily it succeeds magnificently in its task, even being awarded a prize by Norwegian design blog Grafill.

  2. Main

    Did you know that the first episode of Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared has had nearly 21 million views on YouTube so far? With that in mind, since launching three days ago, the third instalment of the cult series is marching quickly towards the million-hit mark. Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared 3 is the much-anticipated follow-up to the very well-recieved previous epidoes which you can see here and here. This time, the characters are spending a day in the countryside, having a delicious raw chicken picnic when suddenly their day is dampened by a pesky butterfly landing in their basket of meat.

  3. List-2

    If you’re anything like me, the 1990s were a decade dedicated to pogs, the Spice Girls, Hey Arnold and Clarissa Explains It All and with those keys players to occupy us it’s no surprise we were too busy to pause and take note of all the great slang vocal being flung around. Fortunately i-D were more than happy to recount the lot in their classic alphabetical fashion, and they even recruited the marvellous Layzell Bros to help them.

  4. List

    The internet is a weird and fantastical thing when you really think about it – fuelling so much more than our social lives and procrastination, it’s a constantly growing, unpredictable entity. Celebrating the wonders of the world wide web are animation studio Buck, based in Los Angeles and New York.

  5. List

    Moving pictures and music are a simple, universal pleasure, which is probably why I’m so drawn to Drew Tyndall’s series of animations, Loops.

  6. List-3

    I’m happy to admit that after watching all three minutes and 47 seconds of Stevie Gee’s new music video for Archie Bronson Outfit, my computer desktop is littered with so many screenshots of boobs, beers and motorbikes in psychedelic hues that I can scarcely find anything else. And the thing is I don’t even mind.

  7. List2

    Nothing helps the brain learn better than a good old visual aid, so what better way to tackle Harvard’s online neuroscience course than to watch these clever animations.

  8. Listtttt

    Lumiere Studios’ experiments in RealFlow software seamlessly flow out of the territory of tech and funnel into something rather lovely. The London-based animation design and production studio has uploaded a number of its tinkerings that showcase the software’s Hybrido system, taking the viewer through an impressive behind-the-scenes look at how it builds up simulations of gushing water. Stripped of their drama, the animations have a quiet pathos about them. As the building-blocks of the final effects, the vivid blues of the Truck Street video seem all the more arresting, silently flooding the streets and washing away their contents. In the museum animation, different volumes of fluid are contrasted against the eerie steps, elevating the experiment into something quite dazzling in its own right.

  9. Ffff

    Visual effects artist Dave Fothergill’s hypnotising animation I’ve Fallen, And I Can’t Get Up! is a glorious combination of schadenfreude, and an investigation into the capabilities of some high-end visual software.

  10. List

    If, like me, you spent many an hour in your teenage years gazing absentmindedly at Larry Carlson’s experimental website Medijate, you’ll no doubt be similarly transfixed by The Landfill from the very talented Santtu Mustonen. Stitching together a “collection of unused sketches, leftover drawings and rejected ideas from forgotten projects” to a mesmerising soundtrack by Tuomas Alatalo, Santtu created a hypnotic animation that’s a work of art in its own right.

  11. List

    Spanish DJ duo The Zombie Kids are bringing some colour and mischief to the world with their track BOOM ft. Snoop Dogg, by enlisting the creative talents of Sawe under the direction of Tomás Peña to create a genius animated video. With hip beats and Snoop Dogg’s badass tones, the narrative sees a cheeky hoodlum, an old floppily-jowled man and a rotund police officer battling against each other, driven by their desire to be graffiti artists.

  12. List

    Animator and director Tom Jobbins has just been signed to Pulse Films where his first assignment was a video for Tune-Yards’ latest single Real Thing. Never one for subtlety in her promotional films, Tune-Yards’ Merril Garbus already has a roster of punchy, colour-saturated films to her name, so Tom was tasked with creating something that stood up to its predecessors in vibrance and impact, as well as keeping things fresh to move things on for the new album.

  13. List

    A few years back illustrator Rob Hunter produced his debut graphic novel The New Ghost, a story about a novice spirit befriending a troubled astronomer. It was a simple, ethereal tale that left no doubt in our minds that Rob was a burgeoning talent in the comics scene. It obviously made an impact on electronic musician Jon Hopkins too, as he’s just commissioned Rob to lend his illustration skills – and his lonely ghost – to his latest EP Asleep Versions. The two make a fitting pair with Jon’s ambient compositions mixing seamlessly with Rob’s subtle, other-wordly imagery. To top it all off they’ve just released this snappy teaser too, in which animator Sean Weston has brought the ghost to life – a truly breathtaking achievement.