»Visual Music Marathon Boston 2007«


Sat 24th November | 5pm, Festspielhaus Hellerau
admission: 5 Euro


visuals musicVisual Music – what does it mean? How does this genre differ from the conventional audiovisual composition?
It is a newly emerging area of computer-based art relating to synaesthesia between visual and audio components.
“A visual music piece uses a visual art medium in a way that is more analogous to that of music composition or performance. Visual elements are composed and presented with aesthetic strategies and procedures similar to those employed in the composing or performance of music« (Maura McDonnell).
Here the computer is mapped as a ‘digital interface’ to connect music and pictures. Music controls the characteristics of pictures or vice versa. Both Media work together and interactively to produce another quality of expression which is quite a new experience for our perception between the eyes and the ears.
The Visual Music is a cooperative presentation by Visual Music Marathon (VMM) Boston and the CYNETart_07 Hellerau (Dresden). All works selected for CYNETart VM have been presented at VMM Boston, April 2007. The Visual Music CYNETart expresses its gratitude for the cooperation to Prof. Dr. Dennis Miller, Northeastern University.
Among the works of 12 hour presentation at VMM, 22 works from 9 countries were selected for CYNETart VM. The criteria for the selection was:

The works in which the visual and sound components are especially closely related with high artistic quality and produces a powerful expression as a whole;
Also the structure and gestalt, and the expressions based on cultural identities were considered.

The works have a wide range of variety which invite us for the concrete and poetic, and imaginary and psychedelic landscapes, by letting us to ‘watch’ with the ears, and ‘listen’ with the eyes.

Prof. Dr. Wilfried Jentzsch, Curator of Visual Music
Dr. Hiromi Ishii, Co-curator

Link to Visual Music Marathon http://www.music.neu.edu/vmm/
Link to Maura McDonnell http://www.soundingvisual.com/
Link to the Boston Cyberarts Festival http://www.bostoncyberarts.org/
Preview http://www.music.neu.edu/vmm/schedule.html

Visual Music

undulation, 2006 3:47
Harvey Goldman images , harveygoldman.com
James Bohn, music
Undulation represents a collaboration between Harvey Goldman, University of Massachusetts Professor of Design in the Digital Media program, and composer James Bohn. The animation illuminates a study and investigation of the visual and sonic elements of cadence, meter, oscillation, palpitation, pressure, and pulsation. The piece represents an attempt to amalgamate, provoke and energize abstract imagery with abstract sound.

Graveshift, 2004 4:55
Arie Stavchansky, images
Per Bloland, music www.stanford.edu/~bloland/
Through a rain-streaked café window, surveillance of a street scene is digitally transformed into a fluid chaos comprised of paranoia, ghostly figures, and alterations of reality. Echoes of a forgotten song float above the milieu, now gaining and now loosing coherence. It is an image plagued by distortion, but this distortion emerges from quietness, and recedes once again into the same.
Graveshift was conceived as a cross-discipline collaboration including video, music, and dance. 

Seek Assistance, 2005 3:03
Vishal Shah, images www.vishalshah.co.uk
Adam Stansbie, music
Seek Assistance is an aesthetically dark myth projected as noise and interference which intensifies with intrigue and mystery. The delicate investigation of micro materials is echoed by intricate lighting effects that appear to print the subject upon one’s eye. This micro interplay between sight and sound firstly illuminates the subject yet hints at macro forms that exist past the light, beyond any sound, and ultimately transcend the physical frame.
Seek Assistance takes us to the starting point of a tube journey when our valid ticket is rejected. The system thus refuses to allow our passage.
This is a work composed out of sharp and exact editing, distinct configurations of abstract light, form and image within the suggestion of a narrative collision.There is a fast and disjunctive economy at work within audio and vision pulse across the face of the other (both a literal face and the face of projected light). Visually there are strong hints of early modernist cinema and photography, Man Ray, Rodchenko and Moholy Nagy appear as possible reference meeting visual forms that derives from a fast world of commercial video. We are left in a state of an in-between of passage, combined with interruption and detour. This is the place that a subject might either be composed or undone.

Discord: metal and meat, 2006 5:08
Stephan Larson art.nmu.edu/larson/diversions
Discord: metal and meat is an abstracted story about conflict between forces, whether the forces are literally metal and meat or more metaphorically perceived as man and nature. In such an uncomfortable conflict, one force can overwhelm another for a time, but inevitably the opposition will regroup, coalesce, and renew the fight. And in this fight, the odds are with nature.

Rain, 2005 3:34
Rebecca Ruige Xu, images http://art-design.missouristate.edu/xu/rain
Yanjun Hua, music
In Rain, I intend to reveal the tension underneath the seemingly peaceful and harmonic surface of rain, a common phenomenon everyone familiar with. The music I chose is called Da Lang Tao Sha (Great Waves Washing Away the Sand), a Chinese classic composed by YanJun Hua (1893-1950) who was a legendary blind musician. The instrument is Pipa, a fretted lute with four strings, known for its frenetic and dramatic style and often used to depict battles in history vividly. The visual style of rain is inspired by Chinese watercolors; computer programming (C + OpenGL) generated animation is used to interpret the motion of falling rain. Raindrops are reduced to simple geometric forms, in the hope of forcing the viewers to pay attention to the building up and releasing of the immense tension within the raining process.

I've got a guy running, 2006 7:12
Jonathon Kirk www.quadrahex.com
IÂŽve got a guy running uses a source video from military combat footage of thr Irag war released by the U.S. Department of Defense. Made from digitally processed video and audio, the piece explores the contention that war is becoming a purely visual phenomenon. Simulation, media distortions, simultaneity, and the emergence of high-speed, ephemeral technologies have permanently changed the experience of the horrors of war except, of course, for those wounded or killed.

Color Dream No. 246, 2006 2:46
Michael Theodore http://spot.colorado.edu/~theodorm/
Color Dream No. 246 is an attempt to share a recurring (and usually nocturnal) revery, in which I often imagine myself adrift in an enveloping sea of colors-a timeless realm where hues are constantly in motion in a cascade of continuously transforming texture and shape.

Feng Huang, 1986 10:00
Robert Darroll http://www.iotacenter.org/visualmusic/profiles/darrollrobertfolder
The film is based on a linear composition in which forms and form groups undergo a continuous process of transformation. In the process, form elements occasionally arise which are related to naturalistic forms, i.e. forms that have a recognisable function in conventional reality. Their arisal is however, merely transitory as they return either as form or non-form into the stream of change.
The composition indicates the intimate relationship between form (matter) and non-form (field) and the continuous flowing exchange that takes place between these two poles.

Wicked Paths, Cruel Deserts, 1999/ 2001 10:00
Ying Tan, images www.uoregon.edu/~tanying
Jefferey Stolet, music
Wicked Paths, Cruel Deserts is a media work for mezzo-soprano, Yamaha Disklavier, computer-generated sound and computer animation created in collaboration with media artist Ying Tan. The work emerged from personal contemplations about what it means to cross borders and to arrive in new lands. The texts, based on poems by the Spanish writer Gustavo Becquer, describe the dangers and treacherousness awaiting those that penetrate or challenge the border's authority. The translations of the text for parts two, three and four are provided below:

"My life is a barren land; at my touch the flower drops its petals; for on my ill-fated path, someone has planted evil for me to harvest."
"Like a swarm of angry bees from a dark recess in my memory visions of past hours emerge to haunt me. I want to drive them away. Useless effort! They surround me, they pursue me, and one after another they come to drive into me that sharp stinger that inflames the soul.“
"First the dawn comes, tremulous and vague, a ray of restless light that slices the sea; then it sparkles and grows and extends into a firey burst of splendor.
The brilliant light is joy itself, the trembling shadow, sorrow: Oh! in the dark night of my soul, when will it ever dawn?

Autarkeia Aggregatum, 2005 9:30
Bret Battey bathatmedia.com
Autarkeia Aggregatum is an integrated sound and image composition emphasizing continuous flow and transformation. There are no cuts or splices in the visual aspect of the work; it unfolds instead as a constantly evolving, massed animation of a set of over 11,000 individual points.
When seeking a title for the piece, I turned to the Monadology — the philosopher Leibniz’s theory of fundamental particles of reality (monads). I appropriated the two words from that work: autarkeia (Greek) for self-sufficiency, and aggregatum (Latin) meaning joined, aggregated. The terms together appropriately suggest an aggregation of the activities of autonomous entities. More subtly, a resonance with Classicism draws me to the words. The resonance is one of an inner fullness of being expressed outwardly in elegant, self-sufficient restraint.

Seven Cartoons, 2000 9:30
Maurice Wright www.mauricewright.org
Music Critic Bill Bennett writes: 7 Cartoons goes boldly where no chamber music has gone before, moving from abstractions of music notation and the iconic keyboard to a broader set of symbols drawn from popular culture.... These images often allude to the process of composition: one can see...the transformations Wright coaxes out of his work – retrograde inversion was never so clear. The evocation of the everyday electrical source reveals that even a well-grounded outlet can experience moments of existential angst in the search for its dada (“Oh, no!”). This Munchkin face is then hung on a virtual diva, while a “real” (not really) performer and his deerstalkered doppelgĂ€nger contend for the privilege of accompanying her. At this point, a ... responsible (real) annotator might simply urge listeners to relax and enjoy the show.”

VARIATIONS 4, 2006 3:00
Liana Alexandra www.geocities.com/lianaalexandra/classic_blue.html
Variation"4 is a part of Video Poem "12 Varitions".This video poem was realized in 2006,with the Mozart Music Software and the program Music Animation Machine of Stephen Malinowski from USA. The music is composed with the Romanian folklore structures, using a fast dance intitled "Hora".

Erev Shel Shoshanim / Kate&Rose's, 2007 5:25
Nathaniel Resnikoff ned.resnikoff.com
Two traditional melodies are arranged and performed by Heathen Creek. The visualization reveals much of the fine structure of the violin solos.
Adding a visual dimension to sound can guide the ear, show musical structure and, I hope, amplify the listener's emotional reaction to the music itself. The images are mathematical representations of actual audio data. Like electron microscopy, they reveal a beautiful and little-known world that is already present in music.

Birdcalls, 2006 5:00
Malcolm Sutherland www.oneiropod.com
The written languages of birds come to life.
Animation Techniques: Ink on paper, Pixilation, 2D Computer

Stillpoint, 2007 7:56
Douglas Durant
Stillpoint begins as a meditative piano solo, with alternating cycles of extrovert electronic commentary and introvert piano returns. Eventually the two elements fuse and release into a broard flowing section. A distorted return to the opening material shifts toward a more violent undercurrent whose remainder is an entirely new stillness, as provisional as the original piano solo.
While the images which accompany and counterpoint the music are abstract, I hope the viewer senses that the shifting camera eye is not a neutral observer, but instead, a kind of personal and separate awareness
linked in some way to the original separateness of the piano. Like the piano, the eye also waits, returns, shifts, ignores (blinks), and plunges. In the final scenes perhaps other new aspects of the visual interlocutor are revealed. Finally, I should say that the ideas around the shifting roles played within a larger form, I take from my understanding of chamber music, which is often described as “a conversation among equals.”

Pipilo, 2007 2:15
Brian Evans
All is number in the computer. I take numeric models and see what songs and pictures they will make. How can I map numbers to the senses—turn numbers into a tangible experience? Then I wonder how the senses map to each other. I map the maps.
In mapping numbers into sensory experience, aesthetic decisions are made. What palette of colors to use? What set of pitches? How long? How big? The artist chooses. In a digital world the mapping itself is a choice. Beyond arithmetic there are no rules.
I make simple rules. You have to start somewhere. One loop (now it’s a narrative). Two minutes (don’t blink). The sound should be seen, the image audible. Other than that, make music. It’s jazz in 4D. Hear the colors, listen with your eyes.

Kyoto Bells, 1994/ 2006 10:52
Wilfried Jentzsch http://t-m-a.de/
This piece is structured by the processed sounds of a small Japanese bell Furin. It begins with a single tone which leads the musical structure more and more dense and finally reaches the noise. The various stages of processed sounds between the single tone and the noise bridge the two components.
A square shape which is colored with blue and white structures the visual part geometrically. The energy and the spectra of the sound modify the shape and the lightness of color to transform the square object generating in real time.

Destellos, 2001 5:37
Elsa Justel
The idea of the project is to give life to the sparkle in different materials. Metal, glasses, ice, will travel in time and space by means of computer animation. There is also a play with sensations of fragility and transparency. The music plays recorded sounds of the same materials. In fact, the discourse is lead by the music that guides the time development and underlines the sense of colour.

Liaisons, 2005 9:20
Jean Detheux, images www.vudici.net
Jean Derome, music
This abstract film, full of rich colours and textures, was created thanks to an inventive use of digital technology. It grew out of an unusual process of interchange between the painter Jean Detheux and the composer Jean Derome: The result is a rare meeting of images and music. What we get is an intense meditation on a world in constant renewal, where every form that emerges is immediately engulfed by the next one.

Te Acuerdas Hijo? (Do You Remember Son?), 2006 16:38
Rajmil Fischman
ÂżTe Acuerdas Hijo? is dedicated to the memory of my father, Alberto Fischman (1920-1983).
The text appearing in the video is taken from the beginning of the Medieval Spanish poem Coplas on the Death of My Father, by Jorge Manrique (1440-1479), translated by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:
" O let the soul her slumbers break,
Let thought be quickened, and awake;
Awake to see
How soon this life is past and gone,
And death comes softly stealing on,
How silently!"

The words spoken at ca. 9 min. translate as follows:
Do you remember son?
Here I also see you 

Daydream Mechanics V Sketch 3, 2006 12:10
Jean Detheux, images www.vudici.net
Michael Oesterle, music
Daydream Mechanics V Sketch 3 started by accident. While working on the final editing of Liaisons with its music composer, Jean Derome (at the NFB studios in Montréal). Jean invited me to a concert by the Quatuor Bozzini.
One of the pieces they performed that evening was Daydream Mechanics V, composed by Michael Oesterle. That music hit me like a ton of bricks, I immediately bought the CD and went home, determined to "play with it" and see what kind of images it would bring up. Little did I know what I was getting into: starting with a couple of frames pulled from Liaisons (they do come back as leitmotiv throughout the piece), I ended up making 12 minutes of animation in less than three weeks. I barely slept, this music possessed me. Sure, the animation was (very) rough, and it took many more months to bring it to where it is today.

White Noise, 2007 9:45
Dennis H. Miller www.dennismiller.neu.edu
White Noise is a fast-paced work in which the flow of events is constantly disrupted. The title stems both from the use of noise as a means to generate the visual and musical elements, as well as to highlight the color palette in the central section of the piece. With its constantly shifting perspectives and abrupt juxtaposition of elements, White Noise is intended to evoke reflections on the chaos that permeates everyday life.

Sports and Diversions, 2005/ 6 4:00
Bum Lee, images www.bumlee.com
Erik Satie, music
Sports and Diversions is a series of black and white animations inspired by Sports et divertissements, a collection of piano compositions written by Erik Satie in 1914. These animations take the themes of Satie’s compositions as points of entry, and then leap into their own varied interpretations of the music.

INFINITE SONG, 2006 14:40
Serban Nichifor www.geocities.com/serbannichifor/classic_blue.html
- Music
-Visualizations with "MilkDrop_104" plug_ins
: Ryan GEISS (USA)