Cancer Survivor Turns His CT Scans into Powerful Music Video
A cancer survivor turned his CT scans into a powerful and haunting music video.
Musician Justin Wright created an eerily beautiful music video for his latest song Hellbrunn Automatons entirely out of the CT scans of his body when he was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
While the CT scans initially served a clinical role in letting doctors determine where his cancer had spread, Wright had the idea to turn the images into a music video while he was undergoing chemotherapy earlier this year.
Wright enlisted his close friend, 3D animator Max Kaplin to connect his diagnostic CT scans into a cohesive display.
Kaplin sequenced the images into frames in an animation to produce beautiful abstract bursts.
The composer and cellist shared his story and the stunning music video for the track from his latest album in a widely-shared post on Reddit this weekend.
Making Some Beautiful Out of This Ordeal
As he was undergoing cancer treatment, Wright decided to use the time he spent getting chemotherapy to create something new out of it. The musician wanted to understand what was happening within his body and reframe his experience.
“I began making this music video as something to keep me occupied during my daily five-hour chemo infusions,” Wright writes.
“I was really determined to make something beautiful out of this whole ordeal, and when I played around with my scans on the medical imaging software, I knew immediately that this was how.”
“These images – detailed, thorough, and repetitive – were the perfect representation of one of strongest feelings I had throughout my treatment: the relinquishment of my body to the multitude of experts examining every inch of it, a slightly morbid ego-death where I nearly stopped seeing my body as my own.”
Wright says he used an artificial intelligence (AI) colorizer to transform the CT scans for the music video.
“We lit the 3D models like museum displays, and I used an AI colorizer to color each of the 2D frames however it wanted,” the musician explains.
“The track ‘Hellbrunn Automatons’ was written long before my diagnosis, but its repetition and optimism as it falls apart ended up pairing perfectly with the visuals.”
Wright celebrated beating cancer in a post on Instagram on October 2.
“Hellbrunn Automatons” appears on Justin’s most recent album, A Really Good Spot, which was released July 8 on Beacon Sound and First Terrace Records.