Riff Loop: Let’s Dance

A white circle is surrounded by spikes of colour shooting from a central position, the length of each line representing a moment in the audio track’s waveform
Print Date
Print Duration
1 hour, 34 minutes, 31 seconds
Paper Size
11×14 in.
Distance Drawn
66.30 m

An audio visualisation of the opening riff to David Bowie’s track “Let’s Dance”. Commissioned by a family member, this piece forms part of my Riff Loop series where a repeating section of a song is cropped and plotted as a never-ending circular riff. In this case, the riff appears at approximately 00:07⁠-⁠00:24 through the track. Each line represents a moment of sound in the track.

Four instrumental channels were taken from original recordings — Guitar, Bass, Drums, and combined Synth/Percussion. Each of these tracks were then downsampled using the JavaScript Web Audio API to produce something resembling a bar chart. This data was then normalised and transformed into a circular layout.

Artwork Details

  • Audio split into 360 averaged samples per channel
  • Radial layout uses one line per degree of rotation, per channel
  • Each channel’s rotation offset by an additional 0.25 degrees to produce increased colour variation
  • Backing Synth/Percussion are plotted as yellow, Drums are magenta, Bass is cyan, and the Guitar is black
A pen running across the page during the print process

Pens used

  • Staedtler Pigment Liner

    Black, 308 02-9, Archival ink
  • Staedtler Pigment Liner

    Yellow, 308 05-10, Archival ink
  • Staedtler Pigment Liner

    Light Blue, 308 05-30, Archival ink
  • Staedtler Pigment Liner

    Fuchsia, 308 05-61, Archival ink
An extreme closeup of a small section of the work, showing the lines of colour overlapping and blending to introduce new colours
A detail shot showing the subtle offset between colours