John S. Banks
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John S. Banks
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 What are your artistic influences, visual and musical?

 John: In terms of influences, I would say that listening to music like Yes, Peter Gabriel, the Orb as well as orchestral music creates a host of internal films that try to find their way into my work. The two texts that had the most impact were Tolkien’s work, (which should be obvious) and “The Waves” by Virginia Woolf, (for the way she characterizes the moment). Visually, old manuscripts like the Book of Kells and Japanese calligraphy mix with the work of Kandinsky and Monet.


  Your work has a very organic feel. What tools are you using to create this?



 John: The organic style of the work is created primarily by letting the real world images dictate the visual flow of the composition. I am very influenced by the flow of lines in nature. Animation gives us an opportunity to expand that flow in an almost musical way. Current digital tools are the result of many years of research and observation of the world by minds sharper than mine will ever be. Their research has created tools that mimic nature with light, wind and even it’s basic structure (fractals). My job is to find, match and morph the tools to fit the exact image.


 Can you tell us more about your collaboration with Fritz Heede?

 John: Working with Fritz Heede on the music clarifies and frames the visuals as the final step in the process. Fritz scores music to picture in most cases. I am often inspired by some insight that the music brings and thereby go back and modify the visual. So our process is somewhat back and forth, with much conversation in between. Fritz has an uncanny ability the sonically create the same feeling I am trying to visualize.



 Can you tell us more about your next project? When will it be released?
   John: Our upcoming release “Ritual Path” focuses more on experiencing specific locations, real or unreal. We feel it’s a step forward in all respects and features guest vocals by Jon Anderson of Yes. There are 26 animations and over 2 hours of original material. It will be available in Summer 06 here at Harmony.




Don Slepian
About the author:

Don Slepian is an internationally known electronic musician, recording artist, and concert performer. Described by Rolling Stone magazine as "one of the genre's major talents", Slepian's live electronic concerts have been sponsored by radio stations, scientific groups, computer societies and universities.


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