Johann’s main inspiration came from Jean Cocteau’s film ‘Orphee’, which shows the main character, played by Jean Marais, listening intently on his car radio to cryptic, repetitive sequences of words and phrases, interrupted by short wave bursts of static and noise. These scenes were in turn inspired by Cocteau’s experiences of the BBC’s broadcasts of coded messages during the second world war. These cryptic broadcasts were direct antecedents of the ‘Numbers Stations’, which were most prevalent during the Cold War and provided Johann with a connection to the album’s overarching theme of Orpheus and that myth’s themes of thresholds and crossing borders. The lonely girl’s voice reciting seemingly random numbers became the voice of Euridyce, a voice from beyond, from elsewhere.
Director Gergely Wootsch has created a considered and thoughtful animated film to respond to the music, which crosses literal boundaries and thresholds as it drifts along a desolate cold war landscape, following a haunting voice as it searches for a listener.