David Eagans Audiovisualizers
site provides an eclectic collection of resources for video performance art. The site is quite personal with lots of details on Davids equipment and ideas available to the interested explorer. Of particular value is the VJ Software
page, where he provides a listing and brief reviews of much of the available software.
Michael Betancourts Cinegraphic is a discussion board for issues related to avante-garde film and video. The site also provides basic information on Michaels movie, audio and other art projects.
Evan Raskobs Phasors Built My Hot Rod explores issues in instrument design through the experiences of participants in the New Interfaces for Musical Expression (NIME) gatherings at NYU. Ideas about how to control electronic music (and to interface with computers more gernerally) are explored through interviews of and performances by about a dozen designers and musicians.
Greg Jalberts Bliss Paint is a generative art system that can be controlled from the computer's keyboard or using sound and MIDI input. It has features designed for live performance animation. Demos and ordering instructions are provided. Greg's ToneColor site also contains some useful web references as well as his thought provoking observations on generative art and music.
Hisashi Hodis ClusterWorks is a collection of particle generators that can be controlled using mouse movements or by sound input. The images exhibit a variety of beautiful, fluid movements. The mouse movements can also produce music as an option. Demonstration versions are available for Macs and Windows.
Tony Fragiacomos MIDIART uses MIDI files or live MIDI input to drive the graphics directly. The program uses about 20 shape generators. Shapes are assigned to MIDI channels, so there is a fairly direct mapping between the appearance of shapes on the screen and the musical information. The color pallette (20 colors for most purposes, 256 for some others) and extent of parameter control are a bit limited but the program is easy to get started with and produces some nice dynamics. Perhaps most exciting is that a number of people have produced works that can be downloaded and played back on your PC.
Scott Snibbes Motion Phone is a program that runs on Silicon Graphics workstations to produce abstract animation in response to human gestures. The program uses two-dimensional animated shapes and colors. The images created are inspired by Oscar Fischinger, Klee, and Kandinsky. The program permits multiple users to collaborate over a network to create animations in a shared plane. Scott's remarks and the images shown on the site suggest that the work is close in spirit to Imager. The site contains images and an essay describing the work.
Steven Malinowskis Music Animation Machine makes graphical scores of musical performances, using bars for color to represent pitch and timing of the instruments being played. Different colors are used to denote various instruments, thematic material, or tonality. Steven's is one of the most direct mappings that has been done to date. His site contains lots of interesting material related to this and other programs that Steven has developed, and a videotape is available.
Steven Nachmanovichs Visual Music Tone Painter uses MIDI to control colored geometric forms dynamically. Though I have not seen this software, Steven's observations about it (his use of simple geometries building into multi-layered effects; his avoidance of randomness in his work) and the images shown on his web pages, suggest that it is among the closest in spirit to what I have been doing with Imager. The site indicates that Visual Music Tone Painter is available on a limited basis for licensing in performances, museum exhibits, and other forms of public display.
Jeff Burns Piano of Light is a program that he uses to control sophisticated lighting in live performances. He relates pitches and colors for the purpose of controlling dome lighting to create an immersive audio-visual environment. There is a brief discussion of the aesthetic basis for this work and a demonstration that runs under MaxPlay on Macintoshes.
Sandy Cohens Bindhu is a music visualization that assigns a single horizontal line to represent each sounded note (later versions expand on this). Two colors, orange-red and blue-green are used to depict the two whole-tone scales of the piano keyboard. Loudness is shown as line brightness and length. Several pieces demonstrate the application of this simple visualization technique to enlarge the musical experience. The site also contains preliminary information about Cohen's Java applet, Muse X-Rayer, which will permit players to perform visualization over the internet.
Scott Draves Bomb is an alife-based machine that interprets keyboard or audio input to generate organic animations. It runs on both Macintoshes and PCs, all of the code can be downloaded. People I have shown it to have had two reactions. Mesmerizing or too stimulating. I find many of the images stunning. Scott's conceptual paper Inside the Bomb discusses how he sees his program as well as it's relationship to some powerful ideas about life. Many versions of Bomb are available on Scott's site, including one that permits you to use a Bomb object in Max patches.
Mark Danks Graphics Environment for Multimedia (GEM) is an OpenGL set of extensions to Miller Puckette's Pd. Versions for IRIX and Windows are downloadable from Mark's site. There are also lots of pictures that he created using the software, some example patches, a FAQ, and a paper describing the basic design.
Copyright 19982000 Fred Collopy. This document was last updated on 6/28/06; it is located at RhythmicLight.com.