Monday, March 16, 2009

Red Raven Records!!!! : )

Red Raven Records are a great example of something that beautifully combines all three, predating the use of any kind of digital effects. Each of these was a regular 78 record with the requisite single song on each side. At the center of each was also the requisite label - except in the case of Red Raven records, the label was a bit larger than usual. Printed around the edges of this label were 16 small cartoons, each a single frame of animation. Using the natural spin of the record on the turntable, these images produced a second or so of looped animation while spinning, when reflected off of a central bank of mirrors.
Instead of the usual cylindrical slip of animation that these devices usually use, the angle of the mirrors in the Red Raven praxinoscope allows the images to lay flat on a disc - something that the record itself provides an excellent medium for. In the case of these Red Raven records, this central mirror is also called the ‘carousel’, since it’s decorated, well, like a carousel. It’s also a rare device, far less common than the music / animation discs themselves.
The animations, which can be viewed in this YouTube video, corresponded thematically with the music on the disc itself, and in the case of every animation, the end of the visual loop deftly incorporated itself back into the beginning of the loop, creating a hypnotic crowd of swirling bunnies or dancing children ad infinitum. 20 of these were produced by Red Raven, and are some of the more highly hunted childrens’ record collectibles.

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