What does music look like? With new sounds and new technologies, the question is more apt than ever. Tom of Music thing points, via his Twitter feed, to this interesting post regarding Ligeti’s Artikulation:
Visualizing Artikulation [Bad Assembly]
Music notation takes on a different meaning in the age of computers. After all, the essential divide in notation – between sound representation and realization – is blurred in the digital domain, in which we move between visual and sonic information seamlessly and a sound can be reproduced exactly. But, perhaps in that fluid context and without the musical conventions that grew up with notation, the importance of notation becomes that much clearer.
In this case, the classic experimental electronic composition Artikulation by composer GyÃ¶rgy Ligeti has already had a visual score associated with it. Rainer Wehinger created the visuals above after the fact as an “aural score,” intending visuals to present a visible “reading” of the sounds of the piece. That makes the score itself closer to the digital visualizations we see as motion graphics works all over the Web (and on our sister site Create Digital Motion). The point isn’t to create a set of instructions by which you can perform a piece, but a visual counterpart that allows you to (presumably) hear it differently.
To be honest, I’m not always certain what to make of these results. Does this score really help you hear the piece? I’m curious to hear different reactions. But I wonder if the real holy grail comes back to software and interface. Seeing a pre-composed score is already interesting. But make that score interactive, and, in short, you have music creation software. Perhaps we’ll get beyond simple sequencers and step sequencers and start to see a growing number of interactive software designs that play around with that concept. (See Tom’s other thoughts on that today as he looks to Audio Damage’s new Automaton plug-in.)
Side Note: Twittering
If you want to follow us music bloggers on Twitter, I’m (uncreatively) peterkirn; Tom Whitwell is tombola. FriendFeed for me is the same. I haven’t made a CDM Twitter account; if for some reason that interested you, let me know, but otherwise I’m inclined to think RSS is just fine.
And if you have Twitters/FriendFeeds you think I should follow, please do holler.