OddityViz - Lyrics by Valentina D'Efilippo and Miriam Quick


Space Oddity is an intricate story whose often-simple lyrics belie a complex musical structure. Here we illustrate the grammatical structure of the lyrics as a series of trees. Each line of the song forms a single tree.

The branches represent the structural relationships between words and symbols on the ends of the branches indicate word type.
The base of each tree covers the line duration and its anchoring point denotes which of four categories of utterance the line falls into – transmission, description, command or action / feeling. The lines are then coded by the character in the song who sings them – a square for Ground Control and a circle for Major Tom.

At the beginning of the song the lines are short. The complexity of the grammar then increases, but the language remains simple, informal and memorable (countdown, liftoff, tin can). We could be listening in on a dialogue between two children on walkie talkies.

You can also see small differences in the way lyrics are repeated. For example, the rather ironic line ‘Here am I sitting in a tin can’ becomes ‘Here am I floating round my tin can’ when it’s repeated – even more cutesy, but also more unnerving.


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The core of the project OddityViz by Velentina D’Efilippo e Miriam Quick is a series of 10 specially engraved records. Each 12-inch disc deconstructs the track in a different way: melodies, harmonies, lyrics, structure, story and other aspects of the music and lyrics are transformed into new visual systems. OddityViz awarded at the 2017 Information is Beautiful Awards.

Additional information

Weight0.4 kg
Dimensions40 × 40 cm



Customized cardboard