In the Pocket (Rhodes and Moog Light Paint) from Ethan Goldhammer on Vimeo.

Fantastic, hip, soulful keys couple with brilliant stop-motion editing, as a Moog and Rhodes keyboard are splashed with light painting, in this new music video from Ethan Goldhammer. (See his blog for more.) It’s the perfect example of how a much-seen technique can retain its novelty when used creatively, especially as the sound itself seems to dance in light-up oscilloscope patterns.


Original music by Ethan Goldhammer and S. Burke.
Time Lapse footage shot in August 2008 on Block Island, RI.
Stop motion and light paint September 2008 in Cambridge, MA.

The lesson here: gear pr0n and special effects work perfectly when they visualize the way we feel about our musical objects and sounds.

Okay, so how did he do it? Ethan responds:

Ableton all the way. Recorded as loops with an [Akai] apc, then arranged later. The secret is also, making the animations, rendering them in [Final Cut Pro] but then WARPING them in ableton to the proper timing and bouncing them back to FCP.

Nicely done. Of course, this is why some audiovisualists have turned to Sony Vegas for Windows – formerly developed by Sonic Foundry, Vegas is actually half audio, half visual software. On the other hand, Live is a comfortable and flexible tool that does many things Vegas can’t.

Ethan also has a beautiful rendering of “Air on a G String,” the second cut from the legendary Switched on Bach. Wendy Carlos, if you’re out there, please don’t stop Ethan; I’d love to see more collaboration instead.

Air on a G String (Oscilliscoped) from Ethan Goldhammer on Vimeo.

  • Mike S

    this is stunning!

  • bojangles

    nice stuff. started the vid without reading and thought i was listening to a new Prefuse '73 tune or something. mean that in a compliment way, not a bite way. awsm visuals too.

  • Loving it.

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  • Simply great. Not much better then mixing Rhodes & Voyager.

    Happens to be my combo of choice as well, except I can't play em like that =).

  • beautiful, especialy the part at 1:19 where the sound gets that whoble or whawha thing.

  • Ben There

    very cool!

    Love the light effects, music, editing.

    I have an old oscilloscope that I like to play with in conjunction with my audio gear. I wish I had a way to project it somehow though. I've tried videoing it but it never looks right due to the 30 frame per second thing and the intensity of the beam.

  • Guy Orongriff

    this video made me wet.

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  • Keats' Handwrit

    I'm inspired- thanks peter for sharing this. Now I have to skip class and make a video!

    @Ben There

    My dads got an oscilloscope and Ive been thinking the same thing. Let me know if you find a way to project or otherwise use an oscilloscope. Have you tried placing it on an overhead projector like the ones your teacher used in 5th grade science class?

  • This rocks! Totally rocks!

  • Very cool vibe. Thought I would share a video I did a few years ago using Max/MSP/Jitter. Required two G4's at the time – one running a Pro Tools 5.1 soundtrack sending MIDI to the other running Max.

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