Linking the melody and sonic textures within a minimal techno soundscape to abstract visualisations inspired by experimental animators John Whitney Sr. and Larry Cuba
first performed 24th November 2013 – Seeing Sound 3
Bath Spa University, UK
This is the latest documentation of a work that first featured in a performance at Seeing Sound 3, Bath Spa University, UK, 24th November 2013 as part of a live set of four short, abstract audiovisual works created as part of Lewis Sykes’ Practice as Research Ph.D. and recent collaborative practice with Ben Lycett.
By looking for similar qualities to the vibrations that generate sound in the visual domain, they try to create an amalgam of the audio and visual where there is a more literal ‘harmony’ – attempting to show a deeper connection between what is heard and what is seen by making the audible visible.
Lycett & Sykes built a real-time, music visualisation system – integrating similar algorithms to those used by seminal experimental computer animators John Whitney Sr. and Larry Cuba – in openFrameworks, the open source C++ toolkit for creative coding. The visualisation was then driven by MIDI data from the original music produced by Sykes in Ableton Live.
This work comes closest to realising the ambition for a personal audiovisual production process – a means and a method whereby audio and visual composition can occur simultaneously. By merging the usually separate strands of audio and visual (post) production into a single workflow, sounds and images can interact with, influence and shape each other from the outset and then throughout all stages of composition, arrangement and mixing.
This video is actually an edit of several live recordings made using the software. While it may lack the natural ‘flow’ of a live performance, it better demonstrates the overall capabilities of the system – which is still a little tricky to control. Next stage refinements and enhancements to this software, promising speed, fidelity and control well beyond anything realised to date, is underway.