It all started when Aaron Axelrod’s neighbor came up with “Fallopian Dudes” as an idea for a band name and decided to type it into YouTube. He was of course immediately directed to the PEPEPIANO track of the same name, from his 2011 album King. Axelrod, a Los Angeles-based psychedelic painter and visual artist, was gripped by the music of David Bird (the man behind PEPEPIANO), feeling an immediate connection with both his color-splattering, tripped-out aesthetic and his Angelino roots. After contacting David and discovering their shared affections for Animal Collective, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and N64, Aaron asked him if he would supply sound material for some of his artwork, and a collaboration was born.
The project for which David contributed an original score was something Aaron had already been working on for months. Melting Rainbows, a fluid journey through melting, dripping, and color shifting, takes place in real time on a unique canvas which Aaron himself created—he calls it the “rainbow melter”: a transparent, convex hemisphere which on one side receives and concentrically drips paint around its own curves, and on the other side records video of the whole process. The result is visually stunning: his specific combinations of pigments, minerals, and liquids take shape, fuse, explode, and dissolve outward like ripples, immersing the viewer in a fluid undulation of color and movement. Aaron created an eighteen-minute film consisting of two improvised performances on the rainbow melter: one in his studio, and one at a rooftop party in downtown Los Angeles. All the footage comes from beneath the transparent canvas, which allows the viewer to experience the creation of the artist and the creative process as one unified visual experience.