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Visualizing music with video game technologies

Visualizing music with video game technologies

Weinel, Jonathan ORCID: 0000-0001-5347-3897 (2024) Visualizing music with video game technologies. In: Gibbons, William James and Grimshaw-Aagaard, Mark, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Video Game Music and Sound. Oxford Academic . Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 185-203. ISBN 978-0197556191; 978-0197556160; 0197556167 (doi:

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Video game engines provide a variety of new ways to visualize and experience music. In this chapter I will discuss how these technologies are giving rise to new forms of music visualization. First, I will provide a brief tour through a spectrum of work related to music visualization, from early visual-music paintings and films to the latest VJ performances, music video games, and VR experiences. Following this, I will discuss one of my own projects: Cyberdream (2019–2021), a VR music visualization, which takes the user on a psychedelic flight across synaesthetic landscapes in which the user can “paint with sound” while listening to a soundtrack of 1990s-style rave music. Lastly, I will discuss a selection of student projects that explore sound design in the context of video game engines. These projects indicate new forms that may emerge when students studying programmes not directly related to games development are brought into contact with these technologies. This will also provide some pedagogical insights that will be useful for educators wanting to support growth in this area. By tracing the trajectory of music visualizations from past to present, and observing nascent forms in this area, we shall see how a new paradigm of gamified music visualizations is gradually emerging. This paradigm is currently amorphous, as new possibilities are rapidly being explored by practitioners working in this area, but broadly consists of audio-visual projects created with game engines, which visualize music, yet may incorporate traces of the video games through aspects such as control systems, use of game characters or game-like virtual worlds. In this chapter I will indicate some of the new forms that are emerging in this area, whilst also discussing possible strategies for cultivating further innovation through education.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: sound design; music visualization; video games; virtual reality
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BH Aesthetics
N Fine Arts > NC Drawing Design Illustration
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Engineering & Science
Faculty of Engineering & Science > School of Computing & Mathematical Sciences (CMS)
Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2024 10:12

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