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Conversation between Alex and Stephen (prev top next)

2007feb06

Dear Stephen,

I'm touched by your support. I have been scouring the internet to find people doing similar things, and as yet (apart from your own) the only music visualisation I find is of the abstract type. Admittedly, the type of visualisation I create is essentially still hand crafted and takes a lot of time which might discourage many digital artists. It took me around 17 months to complete this work (from writing the music, recording it etc, to the final imagery), although had I been able to work on it full time and not have to engage in other activities to pay the mortgage etc, it probably would have taken about 5-6 months.

When I first explored your site a few years ago I remember thinking, oh my god! this guy has already done it all, and with much more investigative rigour. I felt as if I had little to offer. I was disappointed to find you had taken a job and suddenly your work in music visualisation seemed to end. I felt that if only you had the CGI animation tools available today back in the 80's, you would have easily  surpassed what I have only now achieved. I guess however it meant that my own journey into visualisation was given more impetus. All the issues you were investigating years ago are exactly the same things I am exploring now. It still seems rather bizarre (although rationally, completely understandable) that this contact has now been made. Perhaps then you can advise me if there are still people actually engaged in this same approach to music visualisation. I certainly feel as if I am either on my own, or just looking in completely the wrong places. I have discovered the animusic people, and what they do is impressive, but still very much grounded in the traditional music video genre, where you watch the instruments being played (wether by a human or a virtual machine seems irrelevant to me).

Although initially my interest was purely an artistic one, I am also exploring this style of visualisation as a didactic tool and have developed an interactive DVD rom which  aims to explore aspects of harmony, structure and acoustics through the context of the animation (I was also loathe to distribute my work without offering people the opportunity to understand what informed much of the detail if they couldn't work it out for themselves). So of course I am keen to explore any opportunity to make contact with artists, music educators and universities to see if I can negotiate more support to develop this further, and not feel as if I am operating in a vacuum. I confess that Canberra is not exactly a cultural powerhouse bursting with creative energy.....

Cheers

Alex

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