By: Zeina Dghaim
Every object tells a story.
I present to you an Adventure Through Time & Space. A story about four objects from the Aga Khan Museum collection. An astrolabe, a manuscript (101 Nights) – not 1001 -, a lampstand, and a basil pot (Alfabeguer). An innovative approach combining music and motion design to renew artefacts from museum collections, preserving their beauty, functionality, and stories. I hope to inspire kids and adults through this storytelling as much as these artefacts and musical repertoire have inspired people for centuries.
Repertoire: Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, The Legend of the Invisible City of Kitezh, Sheherazade.
Title: The Story of the Kalendar Prince The St Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Yuri Temirkanov. Courtesy of Signum Records – thanks for supporting my endeavours in reviving the classics, making their magic and beauty accessible to people worldwide.
A special thanks to an incredible team at Beyond for their collaboration in the animation production.
About The Animation & Approach
The animation reinforces cultural literacy by engaging visitors with the history in cultural spaces like museums, notably a collection of artefacts dating back to Al-Andalus (Spain) consisting of metalwork, woodwork, and scientific instruments and manuscripts. The animation targets families of all ages, propelling a sense of curiosity and discovery about the objects’ functionality, history, craftsmanship and material production. Furthermore, the animation approaches cultural literacy from a global lens by emphasizing universal concepts, such as wonder, inspiration, and collaboration, cultivating cross-cultural communication through the objects. The animation activates objects through motion design where modern meets tradition, promoting the notion that diversity is an ancient space for collaboration and community building.
I created a model integrating motion design, objects, and the concept of cultural networks. The model aims to renew objects from permanent collections minable for their cultural connections, from which emerges new object relationships and storylines that museums can leverage. The value is an economical use of existing assets held in a museum coupled with a new approach to storytelling for audiences using pre-existing information in a new format – the model helps us reimagine the objects in a new way.
First, I study the objects and their provenance, create a database where I index the data and metadata, then use GIS (Geographical Information System) to map the information and identify cultural connections and clusters. Finally, I use the findings to outline the main concepts and build a storyline.
Then the real fun begins…
Concept design, script, scenes, incorporating cultural elements and patterns, design and animation. In this case, Rimsky Korsakov’s Sheherazade directly correlates with one of the objects in the collection (the 101 Nights). Korsakov’s the Kalendar Prince is a perfect accompaniment to the animation due to its wonderous feel and tone. I take careful consideration to harmonize delicate design movements with the musical rhythm.