Optical Music: Bibio's New Album, Videos, Inspired by Bokeh, Film, and Optical Effects

As film makes a resurgence as a medium, music, too, responds with optical, chemical halos. Bibio’s music, sounding acoustically as if wrapped in a layer of warm gauze, was already partially cinematic. His new album for Warp, “Mind Bokeh,” is more tuneful and poppy, but as the name implies, it also draws directly from visual inspiration. It’s so visual, in fact – and the optical creations so central – that I think it belongs more here than even on our sister site. For the new record, the multi-instrumentalist and producer, aka Stephen James Wilkinson, takes a photographic technique and spins …

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Optical Music: Bibio’s New Album, Videos, Inspired by Bokeh, Film, and Optical Effects

As film makes a resurgence as a medium, music, too, responds with optical, chemical halos. Bibio’s music, sounding acoustically as if wrapped in a layer of warm gauze, was already partially cinematic. His new album for Warp, “Mind Bokeh,” is more tuneful and poppy, but as the name implies, it also draws directly from visual inspiration. It’s so visual, in fact – and the optical creations so central – that I think it belongs more here than even on our sister site. For the new record, the multi-instrumentalist and producer, aka Stephen James Wilkinson, takes a photographic technique and spins …

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Computational Art, From Screen to Paper: Prints by Jer Thorp, Marius Watz

From generated pixels on a screen to artwork, translating computer art to prints can give computer-produced visuals new life. This week, Christina Vassallo lets us know about her new series of silkscreened limited editions from two artists whose work in code (via Processing) we already know and love. Christina writes: February 1 was the online launch of Random Number Multiples, a curated collection of limited edition artworks. This extension of my practice supports artists in their exploration of printmaking processes, and connects contemporary art appreciators with new and collectible work. Random Number Multiples debuts with two silk screened data visualizations …

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New Ways of Shaping Sound, as Free Linux Instrument is a Bezier-licious Tone Board

“din is noise” is a newly-updated “tone board,” making the rectangular plane of its screen into a field of sound you can transform. The video above just begins to show some of what it can do. Pixels can be tones, transformed onscreen. A resonator editor uses Bezier curves to edit sounds across octaves. Each resonator, in turn, can be edited with yet more Bezier curves. Put them together into the drone editor (the bit you see in the video), and you can create vast, sculpted soundscapes from series of rectangles dragged around between octaves. It’s all free, and it’s all …

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Pulsing Geometries, Free Massive Synth Downloads: Ableton + NI + Cinema4D Music Video

Artists Leisure-B and Usselino collaborated on this Autechre-inspired audiovisual short, filled with pulsing geometric primitives. The work is a kind of A/V composition, the music arranged with abrupt, video-style edits. For fans of Native Instruments’ thick-sounding Massive synth, you also get some free preset downloads in the deal. With Native Instruments’ software providing the sound palette, Ableton Live became a context for editing the music as you would video: Leisure: “I tried to approach the composition as “sound design” as possible. Since the video was animated on the BPM (117) and rhythmical accents of “Vose On”, all I really had …

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On Toys, Music and Visuals, and Code: Thicket’s Creators Talk iOS Artmaking

What could audiovisual art made for tablets look like? Some dismiss the results as “toys.” The creators of Thicket embrace that very role. Thicket, the product of electronic A/V artists Morgan Packard and Joshue Ott, is intended as a kind of immersive distraction, filling the screen of an Apple handheld or iPad with clouds of abstract color and ambient sound. Free of controls or widgets, playing with Thicket is a bit like sticking your hand into a mist, more gently responsive than overtly interactive. It’s also lovely, and – for the moment – free. As an experiment, Josh and Morgan …

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Dynamic, Projection-Mapped Topographies of Light, with hc gilje

Reasons to be thankful: it seems we’re at the beginning of an explosion of projected digital imagery as medium, with the best yet to come. And some of the most compelling work right now deals with the most elemental qualities of this medium, how light and space interact. Take the work of hc gilje. He shares some of his most recent projects, which include the elegant-looking theatrical projections at top: I was invited by Trøndelag Teater to do a combined physical set design with video projections. It was an adaptation of the Norwegian literary classic “Fuglane” (“The Birds”) by Tarjei …

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Preview: ReacTable Mobile Arrives for iPad, iPhone, iPod touch

ReacTable Mobile has arrived for iOS mobile devices – even handhelds – bringing the visual, modular sound-making environment to the masses. Apart from building your own interactive musical table, the only way to get ReacTable’s software previously was to spend some EUR9700 – and get on a waiting list. Now, any Apple mobile device will do the trick. The ReacTable certainly is intuitive and fun, and I imagine this could appeal to people new to music performance, as well as satisfying some long-time ReacTable fans. There’s also sample import, so you can really use this in your own performances and …

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The Most From Free Software: Book Review, Getting Things Made, Un-Procrastination

Is it time to get a round tuit? Photo (CC-BY-ND) Denise Mattox. For this book review, we welcome guest writer Andy Farnell, who himself has a terrific book on interactive sound design and free modular patching environment Pure Data, entitled Designing Sound. It began as a review of a book on using free software – but it could be, more than that, a chance to fight procrastination. And while this runs the gamut, including graphics and design and not just sound, that could be even more relevant to those of us who need to delve into those other areas for …

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Celebrating Optical Illusion in Motion; Fun with Marbles

Impossible motion magnet-like slopes from Ben Fry on Vimeo. To work with visuals and motion, you need to understand how visual perception functions, for the same reason that sound design is informed by understandings of how our hearing perceives space, frequency, timbre, and the like. So lately, I’ve been fascinated by this question in motion. I’ll share some examples shortly (once I’ve edited the footage) that I built in Processing for an exhibition in the spring. The results were particularly interesting to me, because the tendency of perception to transform our notions of space and pattern is so profound, it’s …

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