Jean-Michel Verbeeck Brings a Visual Representation to Classical Sounds

Putting himself into isolation described as ‘an empty architectural space in my subconscious,’ Belgium based filmmaker Jean-Michel Verbeeck chose to start from a blank canvas. Without any storyboarding or specific idea in mind to begin with, Symphonic materialised- a minimalist and abstract video representation of a classical orchestra.

‘…I started visualising how I would be the conductor of classical instruments. What would a piano look like when we take the features of this heroic instrument and bring it to a clear, fundamental piece of visual imagery?’

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Produced by his production company Konstruktiv, they worked with the award winning music and sound design studio Echoic to create the accompanying classical piece with live-recorded vocals, piano, cello and violin. The soundtrack was enriched by a series of live-recorded sound effects, also brought to life by the movement of the abstractly represented instruments.

‘The key in bringing the classical sounds to a visual representation lies in filtering out the unnecessary. As this is a personal piece, I’ve picked out those aspect of the instruments that were of greater importance to me and represented them in Symphonic.’

At the time of creating Symphonic, Jean was deeply interested in everything that came out of and happened in Iceland. He soaked up the culture of the country, allowing the magic of creative Icelanders to prepare him mentally. Without listening to the pieces of artists such as Ólafur Arnalds, he told us he ‘wouldn’t have been able to place myself into the state of emptiness’ that he was searching for, in order to create.

‘I have a strong belief that everything creative already exists. That it is already created somewhere. The key is to bring yourself to a complete stop. …you can reach out in the vast treasure of creativity and grab..’

With Symphonic, Jean-Michel reveals that he has broken his personal design comfort-zone, with the support and help from his managing director and close friend Jens Van Ruyskensvelde. In its subtle style, the video induces calmness in the viewer with a nod Spiritualism.

Konstruktiv is now currently very busy working on a project for car company BMW, doing re-brandings for MTV, and designing light installations for music events, among many other things. ‘I’m especially looking forward to developing some music videos for artist that are like minded,’ Jean-Michel told us, ‘and working more on a Minimal and Architectural inspired level.’

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