PREMIERE STREAM: Flights of the Helios - SUCCUBUS

PREMIERE STREAM: Flights of the Helios – SUCCUBUS


It’s a good moment for Flights of the Helios a Drone/popular song/psychedelic ensemble from Oxford who we have flagged up before.Not only is their new single ‘SUCCUBUS’ up for release 7 July 2014. But last night Huw Stevens announced they will be playing the Introducing Stage at Glastonbury for the BBC. To celebrate we have the first listen to their new work ‘SUCCUBUS’ an inventive, percussion dappled, droning earworm threaded by supple vocals.

We’ve also got the first peek at the artwork, above, the image was produced by Ben Outram, formatted by Greg Orrom Swan. Here’s what Ben says about how it was produced;

‘I was interested to see what music would look like if we perceived it with our eyes instead of our ears. Taking into account how our bodies sense sound and light, I have mapped sound frequencies onto the visible spectrum of light to produce these colourful pictures.

I hope that this approach can be used as a way for people who cannot hear to appreciate music, for stimulating interest in science, and as a form of artistic expression.

Humans seem to perceive differences in colour on a linear-ish scale with light-frequency, whereas we perceive differences in tone on a logarithmic scale. Taking the wave file of songs of a variety of genres, I therefore mapped the sound frequencies on a log scale to light frequencies on a linear scale. Then I took publicly available data for the sensitivities of the three ‘colour’ light cones in the human eye that allow us to perceive colour, and mapped the light-frequency spectrum to the human eye cone sensitivities, before mapping it further to RGB (Red Green Blue) values required to reproduce the correct(ish) colour for display on your computer’s monitor.’

The song progresses from left to right, and then every 4, 8 or 16 beats (depending on the song), it starts on a new line. By stacking up bars like this, you can see the changing but repeating nature of music in the vertical structure of the images. Some of them (the ones that look like bar codes) do not start new lines, but only progress from left to right.

If you have any requests of songs or albums you would like to see mapped to pretty synesthesic colour-scapes, then please get in contact! Please also see my liquid crystal photo album, and my other work at

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.