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Screen shots of the gold pressed Moonlight MIDI Visualization Engine as displayed at the Jones Center for Contemporary Art in Austin, TX

Each screen shot captures a moment in time.

As the audio of the piano composition plays in the background, colored blocks of varying color, weight, and behavior float across the screen towards the moment of the 'now'. Blocks colliding with the 'now' light as they play, switching momentarily into a state of enlightenment.

Chopin's Polonaise Fantasie Op. 61, Winter Destabilized
Three successive stills (3rd measure, 12th measure, 45th measure)

Notes can be seen drifting off into oblivion as the score moves from right to left. The color of the notes are arranged in harmonic groups. Lower notes appear towards the bottom while higher notes float along the top. Changes in tempo are indicated with small white triangles (not shown).

Rachmaninoff's Sonata No.2 in Bb, Spring Extroversion
In this visualization mode, notes appear as lightly transparent blocks until passing through the 'now' in which they become representational vectors of diverse color. The vector shapes were generated from a photograph of one of Austin's majestic purple crown sunsets. In this fashion, each note has a unique shape.

Rachmaninoff's Sonata No.2 in Bb, Spring Extroversion
It is interesting to note the first time occurrence of new notes through recognition of their associated shape. For some with excellent musical abilities, this same process can be performed using only the note's pitch.

Franz Listz's La Leggierezza, Surface Fractal
A slight variation of the vector event visualization mode uses more paintbrush-like strokes. This is an interesting effect as it causes each block to appear to be 'loaded' with paint as it strikes the 'now'.

WS Trachtman's Chevy Chase, division pelagic spelled-out
I just had to throw in at least one good American rag time composition. This particular choice shows the clarity and clockwork like precision of phrases within the composition.

WS Trachtman's Chevy Chase, division pelagic spelled-out
This particular visualization is unique in that a letter notation is displayed while keys are played. These appear in standard western notation as 'a', 'c#', 'g', etc... The color scheme is an adaptation of the palette one might see staring out across the division that separates ocean from sky.

Rachmaninoff's Sonata No.1, jovian summer
Audibly, the patterns of this composition can barely be deduced. However, when one views the rendered form, the note arrangement begins to take a more meaningful form.

Rachmaninoff's Sonata No.1, jovian summer
With a color scheme adapted from the atmosphere of Jupiter and subtle expanding note bars, this visualization technique is certainly one of my favorites.

Ludwig van Beethoven's 'Moonlight' Sonata No.14, Winter Destabilized
Zoomed out we can see the entire 1st movement of the composition. In this mode, the score moves along very slowly. Notes passing over the 'now' light and gently glide off into oblivion with a bit of faked angular momentum. From this distance, the phrase patterns (indicated by structure) and harmonic changes (indicated by color) can be easily seen.

All images captured March, 2002

prints available
View photographs of the event.
Read the installation abstract.
View images from the development phase.