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Composing visual music: human traces, from an animator’s perspective

Composing visual music: human traces, from an animator’s perspective

Watkins, Julie ORCID: 0000-0001-8872-7041 (2019) Composing visual music: human traces, from an animator’s perspective. PhD thesis, University of Greenwich.

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Abstract

This research sought to create one possible framework for a relationship between phenomenological experiences and visual music. Composers of visual music have long sought to create a new artform in which the visible and audible are utterly synthesised. Our different perceptions of the visual and the audible, combined with the lack of a ubiquitous, uniform synaesthesia, pose many challenges. Indeed, visual music in the 20th century, as described by William Moritz, was ‘virtually suppressed’. The modernist formalist principles that were espoused by Fischinger, Ruttmann and Richter, which are often seen as the starting point of visual music, are a result of the practitioners’ interests and the processes available at that time. This gives visual music a technical foundation, which pervades creative thinking; visual music becomes about how the sound is synchronised with the picture and conceptual links between image and sound. Traditional concepts of visual music that are predicated on responding to music were expanded to a definition that encompasses placing visuals on an equal footing to audio. This was then further expanded to a concept of visual and expanded visual music that starts from the premise of expression and aims to evoke embodied visceral affect. Affect, via the sublime, light and the human gestural, was investigated using a philosophical framework that was informed by Burke, Kant, Merleau-Ponty and Deleuze. Light and human traces were combined in order to affect the beholder. The approach was Practice as Research. Bringing wider artistic practices and forms of expression: animation, photography, light-based artworks and painting, into the field helped to re-frame visual music in terms of how it was perceived, created and displayed. Basing the tempo of visual music on the human gestural, ‘animation-tempo’, rather than on musical tempo was key to composing from an animator’s perspective. Taking visual music off the fixed-screen into three-dimensional installations helped to turn spectators into participants, which increased the affect of the visual music. The research culminated in the development of a framework: an open-ended tool for composition and evaluation of visual music.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Footnote amendments: Appendix E: A definition of Visual Music by Keefer and Ox - Page 1 footnote [1] For their full definition see Appendix E and Page 13 footnote [4] For their full definition see Appendix E. Appendix amendments: Addition of Appendix E.
Uncontrolled Keywords: visual music, abstraction animation, affect, composing
Subjects: N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences > School of Design (DSC)
Last Modified: 05 Nov 2020 09:25
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
Selected for REF2021: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/29412

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