The Imaginary Alphabet


Creation of an Imaginary Alphabet for David August’s latest album VIS.

The forthcoming album Vīs (from latin: energy, force) by David August is divided into 4 chapters and consists of 13 pieces. It is a theatrical work that evolves as it proceeds. While the starting point reflects an archaic scenography in musically modern classical forms, it slowly progresses in time, shifting towards rhythm, futuristic aesthetics and cosmic language. Like a path on a timeline, each chapter represents a scene in which the human never leaves the field as an observer of the world around him. Nature in its essential form - from the invisible (quantum physics) to the visible (flora and fauna) - is the protagonist. In this process of observation, the album Vīs searches for a language of reconciliation between human and nature, eventually leading to a sense of balance and unity between the two.

August explores dialogues between ancient philosophy, middle-eastern mysticism and quantum physics as a source of inspiration for a musical context that envisioned movement and imagination as leading inspirations. A vehicle to explore a humble curiosity about the mystery of life.

To reflect the work in a visual form, I have developed an imaginary alphabet containing 130 symbols, divided into 13 groups. Each piece of music has its own symbol coming from Vīs. Each of these symbols have their group of letters.

The alphabet was created in order to vector the forces of nature, through shapes, lines, fragility, sharpness, curves, downstrokes & upstrokes, contrast & light, strength and weaknesses. It's a form of translation of sound & music.  Vīs is a strength, a power, that gave birth to a new form of language, unspeakable, untranslatable, yet perceivable. The purpose is to get away from a form of language & the alphabet as we know it;  carrying known stories, concepts and translations. By searching for a new & imaginary way to focus on the emotion & personality of each letter and building an architecture (layouts), we want to bring these emotions & this strength into life.

The calligraphic work and transcription is a result of emotions conveyed by the music and my cultural heritage. Born and raised in Morocco, calligraphy has always been part of my visual field. Living across multiple cultures, this typeface’s research follows the aim to propose a new lecture of what a symbol and an imaginary letter carries.

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