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Digital Meets Organic in Beautiful Music Video for Roel Funcken [Schematic]

Abstract three-dimensional geometries: for many, they are the best expression of the rich imagery the mind’s eye produces when listening to music. But, with a growing heap of work that uses that material, artists have to push the details and execution to connect with the music. Last year, Michel de Klein did a beautiful realization of Dutch artist Roel Funcken’s “Mercury Retrograde,” out on Schematic; I’m surprised I’m only coming across this now. It recalls the classic music video for Autechre’s “Gantz Graf,” produced in 2002 by Alex Rutterford of Lost in Space and far ahead of its time. Here, …

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Flocking Forms of Strings, in New Visual Performance Set to Ligeti’s Music

Partituira – Ligeti – {Excerpts} from Abstract Birds on Vimeo. In the visual etude “Partitura-Ligeti,” dense constructions of abstract three-dimensional shapes fold in on one another, as if the lines of the score’s staff have become living muscular tissue, materializing into an architecture of musical form that quivers and bends. Shapes and particles flock like birds, taut and angular in the way that Ligeti’s intense string writing is. It’s the latest audiovisual masterpiece from Abstract Birds and Quayola. And the technology needed to realize their vision is worth mentioning, too – DirectX 11 optimizations for the latest GPU routines recently …

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Flocking Forms of Strings, in New Visual Performance Set to Ligeti's Music

Partituira – Ligeti – {Excerpts} from Abstract Birds on Vimeo. In the visual etude “Partitura-Ligeti,” dense constructions of abstract three-dimensional shapes fold in on one another, as if the lines of the score’s staff have become living muscular tissue, materializing into an architecture of musical form that quivers and bends. Shapes and particles flock like birds, taut and angular in the way that Ligeti’s intense string writing is. It’s the latest audiovisual masterpiece from Abstract Birds and Quayola. And the technology needed to realize their vision is worth mentioning, too – DirectX 11 optimizations for the latest GPU routines recently …

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The Listening Tree: A Holiday Tree Whose Colored Lights Respond to Sound

Wintertree from Limbic Media on Vimeo. Winter: it’s dark. So, it’s no coincidence that holiday traditions from Christian to Jewish to Pagan to … uh, New Year’s … celebrate light. And it’s fun watching in this video the delight as colored lights respond to sound – not in the endlessly-playing annoying-Christmas-tune way, but in the “you can sing to a tree and it’ll light up” way. Limbic Media writes CDM with this project they did in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. The Downtown Victoria Business Association (DVBA) commissioned Limbic Media to design an audio reactive tree for the holiday season using …

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Music Visualization, 1938, All in Paper: Oskar Fischinger’s Masterpiece “Optical Poem”

Oskar Fischinger – Optical Poem (1938) from Avant-Garde Cinema on Vimeo. Before digital animation, the early works of abstract pioneers constructed meticulous sequences of images that transformed music into synchronized visual for the first time. These works didn’t simply predict computer animation. They helped create it. The works we make now are heavily indebted to the ideas about abstraction and visualization that these works first established.

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Music Visualization, 1938, All in Paper: Oskar Fischinger's Masterpiece "Optical Poem"

Oskar Fischinger – Optical Poem (1938) from Avant-Garde Cinema on Vimeo. Before digital animation, the early works of abstract pioneers constructed meticulous sequences of images that transformed music into synchronized visual for the first time. These works didn’t simply predict computer animation. They helped create it. The works we make now are heavily indebted to the ideas about abstraction and visualization that these works first established.

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3D Music Visualization, Powerful Editing, Rendering – Now as a VST Plug-in

I hear it all the time – people want something that just plugs in and visualizes musical inputs. But then, on the other end of the spectrum is a crowd that wants that and powerful editing capabilities. For both, this could be a compelling development. Image-Line, the developer behind the Windows music tool FL Studio (popularly known as Fruity Loops) have quietly released a VST plug-in built around the powerful open source, OpenGL 3D tool ZGameEditor. ZGameEditor Visualizer takes that engine, and adds musical visualization and movie rendering, plus loads of presets. (See video.) A modest Windows PC (or Windows …

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spatium

Sound in Space, Visually: Spatium Are Free, Open Source Spatialization Tools

Human perception is capable of astounding feats of sensitivity in localizing sound – it is very likely an evolutionary trait. Yet musicians rarely tread beyond simple stereo, perhaps because it’s tough to be creative in space without something that’s visual and intuitive, something that looks like what you’re hearing. Spatium is an extraordinary set of tools for sound spatialization, built in [graphical patching language] Max/MSP and [creative code environment] Processing. It’s free and open source, a set of modules anyone can use to manipulate sound in space or as the basis of their own tools. Portugese artist and developer Rui …

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At MusicMakers, Experiencing Music Through Design, As Community of Doers Collaborates [Listen, Watch]

Making connections with people – creators and audience alike – sometimes means going beyond the virtual, and actually getting people together in the same room. For MusicMakers, Create Digital Music teamed up with curators and artists in Berlin to make some of those connections across disciplines, to get closer to the processes of design and music creation. Making and listening in the age of overabundance could feel diluted. But as makers keep making, and really listening, they can find their music comes to mean more, not less. With support from Moog Music, on the 14th of September we launched our …

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Holy S*** Visualization: Earth, Surrounded by Asteroids, and the 500k Kilometer Pixel

Watch this one in HD – because at 1080p, each pixel represents some 500,000 kilometers. And sit down: you may suddenly feel … exposed. (Duck!) The latest version of a popular visualization of asteroid discovery now brings high definition. And that’s important, because we’re talking about distances and data on the scale of the solar system. The video comes to us via Scott Manley, who has the awesome tagline, “Hacker, Astronomer, Gamer, DJ, Scotsman.” (His YouTube channel also contains a ridiculously cool-looking game where you run your own space program. And I thought Civilization was addictive nerd catnip; I’m staying …

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