Websites

Adriano Abbado’s site details his work including his 2018 book Visual Music Masters. It also provides his 1988 MIT Media Laboratory thesis Perceptual Correspondences of Abstract Animation and Synthetic Sound.

Michael Betancourt’s Cinegraphic is a discussion board for issues related to avante-garde film and video. The site also provides basic information on Michael’s movie, audio and other art projects.

The Center for Visual Music  is a nonprofit film archive dedicated to visual music, experimental animation and avant-garde media. CVM is commited to preservation, curation, education, scholarship, and dissemination of the film, performances and other media of this tradition, together with related historical documentation and artwork. Their site has extensive collections of material by early pioneers such as Oskar Fischinger, Mary Ellen Bute and Jordan Belson as well as DVDs and notices of performances by current artists.

Criticalartware, a Chicago-based collective, maintains a web site that links the video art movement of the 1970s with the growth of software art and new media theory and practice. Their site contains their interviews of people who have been involved in these movements as well as their own thoughts about an envionment in which these movements can be discussed and explored.

Larry Cuba’s iota center is a non-profit orgaization “dedicated to preserving and promoting the art of light and movement.” The site’s Historical Database Project provides links to historical articles, film sources, and a substantial list of artists working in related areas. iota also maintains a discussion list. In 2000, the members of the iota discussion list produced a video compilation of their works. The visual music village is a global network where those who produce or write visual music can post information about their work.

David Eagan’s Audiovisualizers site provides an eclectic collection of resources for video performance art. The site is quite personal with lots of details on David’s 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.

Brian Evans’ Ghost Artists site has images of his artwork and brief essays describing his ideas. His work explores jazz chords, sine waves, and nature walk. His interest is “the intertwined worlds of sound and light.” Brian wrote some important articles in the early 1990s that introduced the idea of a movement from tension to resolution as a way of bringing temporal design to the structuring of visual elements.

Davidson Gigliotti and Ira Schneider’s Radical Software site contains all eleven issues of the publication which were published between 1970 and 1974. Sort of the Wired of its day, Radical Software was the most influential outlet for those working in alternative video during that period. In addition to pdf versions of the magazine, the site provides a history of the Raindance Corporation and related entities, and an update on some of the key participants.

Neils Hutchison’s Color Music site is an expansive and well researched essay that explores the color music code, starting with Newton’s ‘hue to pitch’ association. In the course of following the implications of Newton’s idea (as well as its origins), Hutchinson unearths and focuses on under-represented areas of color music history including oriental and mystic origins, some Renaissance artists, and Australian painters. The site includes an extensive bibliography and list of links related to color music.

Nancy Herman’s fluid abstract compositions bring the sensibilities of a weaver to visual music. She is an active and thoughtful participant in discussions of visual music online. Her site contains prints, hangings and collages in addition to her color music pieces.

Joseph Hyde’s Seeing Sound site provides the record of symposia that have been taking place in Bath England every couple of years for a decade. This event has been of consistently high quality since its inception in 2009.

Hisashi Hodi’s 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.

Greg Jalbert’s 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 site also contains some useful web references as well as his thought provoking observations on generative art and music.

Jarislaw Kapuscinski’s site contains clips of his pieces, including his award-winning works in which Mondrian’s paintings move to Jarek’s electronic music. It also contains an essay on correspondences in intermodal composition that he wrote while doing his PhD thesis in music at UCSD. I find Jarek’s aesthetic sense among the most developed and interesting represented on the web.

Golan Levin and Collaborator’ FLONG site collects together the work that Golan, his students and other collaborators have produced over the past 25 years. The works, which often involve the simultaneous creation and manipulation of images and sounds, have been created for a wide variety of forms, media, and settings.

Andrew Lyons’ site contains excerpts from his work in television, film and virtual reality as well as still artworks (of the latter, I particularly like “Cinema” which he did as a collaboration with his housemate Michelle Goode). Under the virtual reality tab, you’ll find stills from his film Schwarzchild, a film that uses red/blue anaglyph glasses to explore symbolic integrations of 3D audio and image. His site also contains writing (his own and pointers to others’) on visual music, synaesthesia, the psychology and physiology of perception and related topics.

Steven Malinowski’s 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.

Maura McDonnell’s Sounding Visual site contains clips of her work, notes that support her teaching, and historical material on visual music. Maura also keeps a Visual Music blog that surveys the field.

William Moritz’s Mary Ellen Bute: Seeing Sounds historically critiques her contributions to abstract animation. In addition, it provides a filmography of her works.

Steven Nachmanovich’s 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.

OpenEnded Group is a collaboration of Paul Kaiser and Marc Downey. Their site contains images and clips from many of his pieces including BIPED, Ghostcatching, and Hand-Drawn Spaces. Among the many exciting works represented here are collaborations with choreographers Merce Cunningham and Bill T. Jones that have produced beautiful integrations of human movement, computer animation and music.

Ron Pellegrino’s site for the Electronic Arts of Sound and Light contains sections from Ron’s classic book in the field, current essays, interviews with audio engineers, and pointers to lots of other interesting sites. Recently I took a new look at Ron’s site and found much of interest (such as, the iota exchanges, excerpts from animated on-line discussions that took place in 1999).

Evan Raskob’s 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.

Joost Rekveld’s Light Matters site is a nicely organized presentation of an exceedingly innovative and productive artist, curator, teacher, and scholar. With abstract films among the most exciting being made, his work is by no means limited to them. Rather it presses boundaries around art and science, contemporary and classic ideas, digital and analogue technique. His texts page provides full-text of some interesting historical pieces that are hard to find.

Don Ritter’s aesthetic-machinery site has demos of installations that combine complex audio, interesting video and motion tracking to create dramatic environments. In Intersection, the visitor walks in a dark room across a sonically created four-lane highway. In Fit an exercise partner and percussion track respond to a viewers movement. There are also several pieces that demonstrate Orpheus, his interactive video sequencing software.

Scott Snibbe’s work has been among the most engaging in the area since his original Motion Phone program that ran on Silicon Graphics workstations to produce abstract animation in response to human gestures. The program used two-dimensional animated shapes and colors. The program permits multiple users to collaborate over a network to create animations inspired by Fischinger, Klee and Kandinsky. Scott’s work and thought continue to be fresh and engaging.

Laurie Spiegel’s Retiary Ramblings houses the reflections of one of the most imaginative pioneers in both electronic music and computer-based abstract visualization. This eclectic and very personal site contains a broad selection of her works and reflections. Of particular interest to many here might be her reflections on VAMPIRE, a visual music system that she developed while at Bell Labs in the 1970s.

Bozidar Svetek’s Interakt Studio provides demonstrations of his music visualization process, which he refers to as unique but does not otherwise describe.

Gregory Zinman’s Handmade Cinema site offers an encyclopedic and engaging immersion in the practices of virtually all areas of non-photographic moving image creation. It is organized in digestible chunks that facilitate visualizing time, making connections and expanding one’s reference base.