Aardman moves to the Darkside
As albums go, Pink Floyd’s progstravaganza The Dark Side of the Moon is surely one of the most cinematic.
Now, the album has been adapted into a new radio play, Darkside, accompanied by a fittingly big, bold blockbuster-style animation by Aardman.
The play has been written by Sir Tom Stoppard to celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Dark Side of the Moon’s release, and will be aired on BBC Radio 2 over the bank holiday weekend.
Aardmans’s animations were directed by Darren Dubicki, are as psychedelic as you’d expect from such a project.
Much of the visuals are taken from Storm Thorgerson’s designs for the album, which have arguably become as iconic as the tracks they were used to package.
Dubicki says, ‘The intensely surreal and powerful artwork created by Thorgerson and Hipgnosis has always had a strong distortion on reality. Their sense of space and twisted context make for some uncomfortably beautiful art. This tone has been consistent for decades and we wanted to honor this with our contemporary digital (and analogue) slant on the style’.
He adds, ‘What was fundamentally important to us was that we retained a consistent visual tone that echoed the imagery created over the years for the band.’
The play covers big issues to match Pink Floyd’s big music – taking in ‘underlying themes of greed, conflict, consumption, humanity and the descent into madness…’, according to Aardman.
Aardman produced two films - a three-minute promotional film and an extended film loop that for online – using a collage of digital imaging, CGI, studio-based effects and hand crafted elements.