Yuri Suzuki aside, sound designers don’t often find themselves on the pages of It’s Nice That, but when we caught wind that one of Hollywood’s most highly-regarded composers was creating and curating a whole host of sounds to accompany the next generation of electric automobiles our interest was firmly piqued.
Hans Zimmer — the soundtrack supremo who has worked on everything from Cool Runnings to Kung Fu Panda 3 via 12 Years a Slave and Black Hawk Down – has been tapped up by German brand BMW to investigate how to fill the “gap in the emotionality of the driving experience,” for consumers who’ve made the eerily silent switch from a gas-guzzling car to a slightly more sustainable electric number.
Working with Renzo Vitale, an acoustic engineer and sound designer at the BMW Group, Zimmer has attempted to create a sound-oriented reduction in the alleged sense of alienation that can develop between driver and car in these vehicles of the future.
James Turrell and Olafur Eliasson are unlikely points of inspiration for the project, but Vitale is keen to note that the pair were looking to replicate the “magical experience” of “the illusion of infinite space,” which is so important to Turrell.
The fruits of Zimmer and Vitale’s auditory labour will be heard by anyone with the means to splash out on a BMW Vision M Next, the company’s recently-announced autonomous car.
“I have always been a BMW enthusiast,” says Zimmer in a press release issued by BMW. “As a kid, I used to recognise my mother coming home by the sound of her BMW. I am thrilled to get the chance to design the sound of future electric BMW’s and create emotion for the future electric driving experience.”
Explaining how the sound aspect of the car actually works, Zimmer is quoted as saying: “When the driver interacts with the accelerator pedal it is not only a mechanical touchpoint but also a performative element. Accelerating becomes an experience during which the driver moves through a series of gradually morphing sound textures.”
- Creative coder Neal Agarwal on bringing the internet back to its weird days
- Isaac Lock’s hilarious documentary goes behind the scenes of Fiorucci’s revival
- Meet Rob en Robin, the Dutch studio that finds humour in often lifeless topics
- The latest issue of Fukt is all about systems, and how to break them
- Book of Roy: Neil Drabble photographs an American teenager over the course of eight years
- Double Click October is all about the humble portfolio site
- Graphic Design is Mental: Tips for looking after your state of mind as a designer
- Greta Grotesk is a typeface in homage to the teenage activist’s handwriting
- “The signs were completely radical”: Margaret Calvert looks back on her illustrious career
- Alan Titchmarsh stars in new campaign for Adidas’ Gardening Club collection
- A glimpse at the 226 Japanese posters on display at Stedelijk Museum
- Michiyo Yanagihara imbues her post-human photography with Japanese mythology