Classic songs become buildings in
Federico Babina's Archimusic illustrations

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Archimusic by Federico Babina

The latest poster series from Italian architect and illustrator Federico Babina takes 27 popular songs, from the likes of David Bowie, Amy Winehouse, Elvis Presley and Mozart, and transforms them into cartoon buildings.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Space Oddity by David Bowie
Space Oddity by David Bowie

The series, entitled Archimusic, combines the music and lyrics of each song with the artwork featured on the original single and album covers, creating a series of fantasy designs that feature stacked shipping containers, towering chimneys and sculptural staircases.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Song 2 by Blur
Song 2 by Blur

"The parallels between architecture and music are diverse and extraordinary," Federico Babina Dezeen. "They have a common mathematical order which regulates the forms and the rhythm."

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Rehab by Amy Winehouse
Rehab by Amy Winehouse

"The idea was to tell a story starting from the soundtrack, listen to the music and imagine the shapes hidden behind it," he said.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Requiem by Mozart
Requiem by Mozart

Babina previously worked on a similar project named Archist, transforming the works of famous artists into buildings. Here, the process becomes less literal, as the illustrator created shapes based on the mood and feelings created by each song.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Can't Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley
Can't Help Falling In Love by Elvis Presley

"Archist has been a figurative process while Archimusic is more intangible and abstract," he said. "It is based on feelings and emotions that only the music is able to awaken. Use your ears instead of eyes to conceive shapes."

Archimusic by Federico Babina – No Surprises by Radiohead
No Surprises by Radiohead

The series starts with So What, a 1950s track by Jazz artist Miles Davis. Here, the familiar parts of a trumpet form projecting balconies and a big chimney.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – So What by Miles Davis
So What by Miles Davis

"His music moves in a perfect balance between harmonic simplicity and an ingenious difficulty," said Babina. "It was the perfect example to transform the rhythm of notes into a sequence of colours and shapes."

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division
Love Will Tear Us Apart by Joy Division

The iconic cover of Joy Division's Unknown Pleasures gives a jagged profile to the image dedicated to the band's 1980 hit Love Will Tear Us Apart, while a pair of matching red and black structures accompany Seven Nation Army by the White Stripes.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes
Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes

Babina also looked at classical artists, created a faceted cave-like structure based on the music of Bach and a piano-inspired structure dedicated to Mozart.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Suite Pour Violoncelle Nº1 by J. S. Bach
Suite Pour Violoncelle Nº1 by J. S. Bach

There is also a bulbous form for flamenco guitarist Paco de Lucía and a tensile structure for experimental performance artist Laurie Anderson.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Entre Dos Aguas by Paco de Lucia
Entre Dos Aguas by Paco de Lucia

"I chose types of music and musicians very different from each other. Each has its own peculiarities," added Babina.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – O Superman by Laurie Anderson
O Superman by Laurie Anderson

"I do not have a favourite kind of music – I think there is always a perfect kind of music for an exact time," he said.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Me Gustas Tu / Desparecido by Manu Chao
Me Gustas Tu / Desparecido by Manu Chao

Other highlights from the series include a colourful composition of structures for Manu Chao, a guitar-shaped building for Jimi Hendrix, a concrete bunker for Nirvana and a four-gabled warehouse for the Beatles.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix
Hey Joe by Jimi Hendrix

Federico Babina has also created posters showing architects' faces made from their designs and an illustrated alphabet made from famous buildings. See more illustration by Babina »

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana
Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana

Here's some extra information from the artist:


Archimusic blends music and architecture

Twenty-seven songs make up the soundtrack of this series of illustrations depicting the music and its authors.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Let It Be by The Beatles
Let It Be by The Beatles

The idea was taking cue from an intangible item like music, giving shape light and colour to music and its performers. An exercise to uninhibited sense and try to listen to architecture and to observe music. Be guided by the sequence of notes to give form and life to architectural forms.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – River Man by Nick Drake
River Man by Nick Drake

Music and architecture are intimately joined by a cosmic connection. They both are generated by an underlying code, an order revealed by mathematics and geometry.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Confirmation by Charlie Parker
Confirmation by Charlie Parker

Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Joga by Bjork
Joga by Bjork

If music is horizontal, vertical or oblique. If the sound leans firmly on the ground or if it touches on tiptoe. If it's made of contrasting colours or tones that change gradually. Shaping architecture walking on the musical staff. The stave as a metaphor of structural foundation on which rests a "musical architecture".

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Light My Fire by Jim Morrison
Light My Fire by Jim Morrison

As abstract art shape based on rhythm, proportion and harmony, in these images architecture and music share a clear cultural lineage. The colour and the different nuances of music shape the forms and volumes.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – My Funny Valentine by Chet Baker
My Funny Valentine by Chet Baker

Reading horizontally gives some basic melodic lines, while reading vertically reveals both harmony and dissonance. A building like an harmonic progression following the movement of chords. A spatial progression that is equivalent to the harmonic progression through chords. Generate a rhythm of solids and voids to reproduce the sequences of notes and silences.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd
Wish You Were Here by Pink Floyd

Try to listen to the architecture. Interpret the its musicality and rhythm. Leave notes drawing an imaginary architecture following the rhythm of the imagination.

Archimusic by Federico Babina – Morning Passages by Philip Glass
Morning Passages by Philip Glass
Archimusic by Federico Babina – Naima by John Coltrane
Naima by John Coltrane
Archimusic by Federico Babina – Every Breath You Take by The Police
Every Breath You Take by The Police
Archimusic by Federico Babina – Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
Billie Jean by Michael Jackson
Archimusic by Federico Babina – Bohemian Rhapsody by Freddie Mercury
Bohemian Rhapsody by Freddie Mercury

Archimusic by Federico Babina

  • BarryReid

    His Bowie looks a lot more like Captain Sensible to me.

  • nasidas

    Answering the question that no-one wanted answered: what would David Bowie look like as a house?

  • http://kravchenko.biz Iurii Kravchenko

    “Hendrix” has to be mirrored.

  • Ramon G. Perez-Alonso

    How can I buy some of this art?

  • Nick

    I don’t get half of these, and the ones I do get, I’m like “so what?”.

  • http://callumhepburn.com Callum Hepburn
  • gretchen

    If you’re going to put musical notation on all these, you should really get them right.

  • ivan

    This guy has some talent.