InterJournal Complex Systems, 355
Status: Accepted
Manuscript Number: [355]
Submission Date: 427
A Complex System for the Visualization of Music; in cluding the journey from 2D to Virtual Reality
Author(s): Jack Ox

Subject(s): CX.07, CX.11, CX.15

Category: Brief Article


ack Ox will give a description of the algorithmic, music visualization system she developed over a period of twenty years outside of cyberspace. She will then describe the transformation of this system into a Virtual Reality 3 D immersive world utilizing supercomputing technology. Ox makes detailed analyses of musical data from either the written score and/or an electronic score known as MIDI. This information might include any or all of the following; pitch, harmonics, phonemes and/or formants, time, timbre, and dynamics. Each of these is translated into a visual data system created by the artist. The environment through which the data is experienced or seen has always been landscape and/or architectual images which are connected to the visualized music in metaphorical and structural ways. These visual images or 3d worlds are cut up and otherwise abstracted by the information flowing from the source music and put together into structures which are the collective, unpredictable results of the interaction of independently operating systems. She has also developed several complex color systems for the carrying of information including harmonic movement and quality, vowels, timbre, and dynamics. These color systems ocupy an important place in the complex of systems needed to translate music into visual images with a satisfactory level of detail. The latest version of this group of systems has become an actual visualization instrument. This means that its systems and visual environment can be used for more than one composition and also for different composers. It is called the 21st C. Virtual Color Organ because it is the most recent incarnation of an ongoing number of interesting precedents like the 1730 Ocular Harpsichord by Louis B. Castel, numerous experiments at the end of the 19th C. with color organs, continuing into the late 1940ís with Charles Dockumís Mobil Color. The Virtual Color Organ is an interactive, stereoscopic, immersive sound and visual environment, virtual reality instrument.

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