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THE VISUAL MUSIC PROJECT

Mapping Music on Figurative Landscape

WHAT IS VISUAL MUSIC

Music made visible: Hystory and Theory
Introduction

The idea that music is related to space, color and form has a tradition that dates back at least to the 16th century.

It sets the basis for a visual interpretation of music in Figurative Art by identifying parallels between form/color and sound structures.

The first article hereby presented attempts e brief survey of the history of the idea of visual music and the related concept of synaesthesia.

It points also to possible developments in an artform destined to conquer the centerstage of future art culture: perhaps like painting was at the twilight of the middle ages.

The second article presents a more specific method of visual interpretation based on figurative landscape as metaphor of music and its "resonant" environment. [ see also "music as lanscape"]

The athmospheric, land and water masses offer an architecture of forms always varied and in constant motion:

cirrus, cumulus clouds, highlights and shadows playing upon terrain, water, vegetation a richness of everchanging chromatic effects, color registers for day, night, and the shifting of seasons ...

Landscape seems to mirror the phenomenology of music in the visual world .

Such method of interpretation is named "Caspar", in homage to Caspar David Friedrich: highest romantic painter of landscape understood as a representation of the inner self.

LANDSCAPE

Landscape as methaphor of music
Music as Landscape

The idea that music can be interpreted as space, color and form sets the basis for its visual representation in figurative art. The method hereby described finds in figurative landscape a methaphor and a language to interpret music visually.

[Dynamic sketch on Mozart K550 » ]

It operates by identifying parallels between elements of form and color in both landscape and music: "mapping" the ones onto the others. The athmospheric, land and water masses offer an ever changing architecture of forms always varied and in constant motion:

Cirrus clouds, cumulus clouds, interplays of highlights and shadows on the terrain, everchanging chromatic effects in the atmosphere, color registers for day, night, season and wheater changes.

They seem to capture the phenomenology of music in the visual world .

The interpretative method hereby presented is named "Caspar Project", paying homage to Caspar David Friedrich, highest romantic painter of landscape as representation of the inner self.

Midi Sequences

Data driven animations
Midi input sequences

The Visual Music animations termed "midi input sequences" represent a method of music rendering that relies on MIDI data to construct animated sequences.

The Midi data sets the start time and duration of each note/event in music. Sync precision is guaranteed by the high midi time resolution (divisions per quarter note).

Each note is rendered as an instance of a geometric primitive (e.g. sphere, box, oval). Color, scaling, note behaviour, and other characteristics are proper to the track channel the note belongs to, which, in turn, represents the stave, "voice" or "instrument" part of the musical composition.

MIXED TECHNIQUES

Pre-midi studies