Music Video: Untold’s Overdrive (Hemlock) Brings Dirty Techno, Clean Animation

2012 may be without a clear landmark album (at least so my producer friends keep complaining), but the singles scene (ahem) has been terrific. Perhaps that suggests a musical landscape in which electronic artists prefer exploration to tightly-controlled packages. Whatever is going on, techno is dirty and grungy again. Just ask the UK’s Untold. Last week, Mixmag hosted a video premiere for his track “Overdrive,” with animator Iain Acton. Their story and comments: WATCH UNTOLD ‘OVERDRIVE’ VIDEO EXCLUSIVE [Mixmag] Talking about music, as the saying goes, is tough stuff. I love what Untold is doing, a sense of the enduring …

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Got Goosebumps? In ‘Limbic’ Music Video, A Close-up View of Your Body on Music

limbic from Institut Fuer Musik Und Medien on Vimeo. Music isn’t just syntax; it isn’t just a binary message in our brain. It somehow connects with our body in an intimate way. The music video “limbic” explores this visceral connection right at the level of the skin, at sweat and goosebumps and facial reaction. “limbic” is both an aesthetic exploration and a statement about some of the science behind the experience. It comes at a good time, too – earlier this month, we were considering the relationship of body to musical interface, in the context of a bio-interfacing show at …

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Tunes, in Drops of Color: Design Project Mixes Minimal Notes with Audible Hues

Perhaps it’s the sense of detachment that comes from long hours spent staring at screens, peering into pixels and abstraction. But whatever the reason, when experimenting with design and music, creators seem increasingly drawn to simple, physical interaction. Somewhere in the mysterious play between senses, between seen color and unseen sound, they look for intuitive relationships. Designers Hideaki Matsui and Momo Miyazaki send in the latest adventure in induced synesthesia. Students at the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design, they use a camera to connect color to sound. audible color from Momo Miyazaki on Vimeo. Full description:

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Synesthesia: Beautiful, Surreal Short Film Imagines Sound Across Senses

At Music Tech Fest in London last month, I gave a talk and did an afternoon-long workshop exploring ways of connecting visuals to sound. We worked with pen and paper, with patching (in Pd), with code (in Processing), and via a survey of some interesting recent work, in this case all connected to drawing. A theme of the conference had been “synesthesia.” But it’s important to note that synesthesia goes beyond just making music visual. It deals with people actually having a sensory experience in which one input (like sound) triggers a different sense (like smell or color). Sure enough, …

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Harmonic Motion Creates Musical Patterns, in New Abstract work by Memo Akten

Digital artist and imagineer Memo Akten, known for beautiful work like his dazzling, sparkling open source fluid library, has lately turned his attention to intersections of visual motion and musical pattern. In a series of etudes, he applies simple, sinusoidal motion to musical patterning. That is, as abstract waves flow on the screen, they trigger overlaid patterns of rhythm, notes spilling out as waves intersect. Experimenting with an idea and iterating in simple form helps Memo develop the idea here – and gives us a chance to experience that evolution by browsing the variations, as seen in splendid form below. …

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Op-Ed: Music Abstraction for AV Collaboration, A Proposal

Ed. Our friend Momo the Monster (aka Surya Buchwald) joins us for a guest column with a proposal: what if messages sent between music and visual software could be expressive? His idea is simple, but powerful: it’s musical semantics for live visual messages, as basic as knowing when there’s a bass drum hit. Momo introduces the concepts here; more audiovisuals coming shortly, so feel free to hit him up with some questions. -PK Last October, I was approached by the management of American Werewolf about creating some custom visuals for their show. This was the first time I’d been contacted …

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Inspiration: Paint, Visuals, Sound in "Synesthesia"

Synaesthesia from We're So Digital on Vimeo. More cross-sensory work, this time employing paint, cameras, and sound, as artists continue to explore the threads that connect media. Synaesthesia is an interactive performance/installation exploring alternative digital music interfaces and the relationship between colour and sound, creating a relational experience between the artists, users and the audience. The project utilises video colour tracking, sequencing, softsynths and sample modulation to generate audio loops via Processing and MaxMSP.

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Inspiration: Paint, Visuals, Sound in “Synesthesia”

Synaesthesia from We're So Digital on Vimeo. More cross-sensory work, this time employing paint, cameras, and sound, as artists continue to explore the threads that connect media. Synaesthesia is an interactive performance/installation exploring alternative digital music interfaces and the relationship between colour and sound, creating a relational experience between the artists, users and the audience. The project utilises video colour tracking, sequencing, softsynths and sample modulation to generate audio loops via Processing and MaxMSP.

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Visual Music Tumblr, Takeshi Murata, and Philip Glass on Sesame Street

This week, I’m attending Aaron Meyers‘ and Aaron Koblin‘s master class/workshop on visual music at Eyebeam, sponsored by our friends at visualist-friendly record label Ghostly International. (We’ll be busy coding this week, but hope to share some fruits of this week later.) You could easily lose yourself in the wonderful Tumblr blog of inspiration and ideas being assembled by the Aarons and workshop participants, ranging from early synesthetic audiovisual experimentation to recent work: http://visualmusic.tumblr.com/ A comprehensive history is sorely needed this area, especially as you watch the ground-breaking, expressively minimal work of people like Norman McLaren. Among other inspiration work …

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Visual Music: Aaron Koblin and Meyers’ Visual Compositions, Eyebeam Call Due Today

This post, by definition, overlaps with the worlds of Create Digital Music and Create Digital Motion, so I’m cross-posting — absolutely not one you want to miss, both because of the event in New York, and because the landscape of works here engages issues about which readers here I know are passionate. Music and visuals are each themselves endless wells of potential; put them together, and “infinite possibility” probably isn’t an overstatement. This July, label Ghostly International is working with researchers at New York’s Eyebeam research center to do a free, one-week intensive on dynamically-generated visuals for sound. Before you …

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