of Beethoven's No.14
Moonlight is an interactive installation of the
visualization of the first movement of Beethoven's No.14 Sonata. It
was originally installed at the Texas
Fine Arts Association gallery in downtown Austin, TX as part of
Face of Interactive Art' exhibition organized by the Austin
Museum of Digital Art.
||The piece allows the participant to walk
among the composition, watching and listening to it unfold.
Projecting the note information derived from a Musical Instrument
Digital Interface (MIDI) file, the participant exists simultaneously
in the song's past, present, and future.
Simple color bars and geometric shapes represent each note played,
as captured from an actual human performance. Opacity represents
volume and color represents harmonic grouping. Abstracted depth
and realism is applied by altering the topology of the projected
Pseudo Mechanical Universe
Moonlight abandons many traditional elements of musical annotation.
| Notes being played are symbolized
simply by colored blocks. Notes are still arranged in western
left to right fashion, with time passing across the horizontal
axis, while pitch is indicated using a combination of color,
vertical spacing, and harmonic grouping. Colors are taken from
a digitized photograph of a natural environment.
figure a. about
64 notes rendered in blueprint style
This digital piece is assembled through a number of computational
steps. First, a Musical Instrument Digital Interface (MIDI) file of
the score is created when a human performs the piece on a MIDI enabled
piano. For each note played, a series of properties describes the
event in elaborate detail. Inscribed details include: the time the
note was struck, the velocity of the strike, the length of the sustain,
and the pitch of the key.
figure b. the
first movement of the moonlight sonata rendered as a Soyez Rocket,
sectioned into four measures.
The MIDI file is then converted into two parts. First, a digital audio
re-recording the performance compressed in MP3; and second, a representation
of the note information encoded in XML.
The two are recombined with user preferences applied into a real-time,
graphic presentation generated by the music's structure. Interaction
with the piece allows users to modify the geometry, color, and behavior
of the notes. In response, the perceptual, projected environment (through
which the particpant physically navigates) changes and evolves.
Visualization: Flash 5
MIDI to XML Conversion: C++
Song Information: MIDI v2
- design and code
Lola Brine - installation
Corey Barton - audio production
- piano performance
Ludwig Van Beethoven - original composition
Stephen Malinowski - inspiration, MAMe
Screenshots from the visualization engine.
Photographs from the gallery.