Abstract animation, emergent audiovisual motion and micro-expression: A case study of analogue music tracking with Robert Schumann’s Forest Scenes in AudioVisualizer

Abstract

Abstract animation in the form of “visual music” facilitates both discovery and priming of musical motion that synthesises diverse acoustic parameters. In this article, two scenes of AudioVisualizer, an open-source Chrome extension, are applied to the nine musical poems of Robert Schumann’s Forest Scenes, with the goal to establish a basic framework of expressive cross-modal qualities that in audiovisual synchrony become apparent through visual abstraction and the emergence of defined dynamic Gestalts. The animations that build this article’s core exemplify hands-on how particular ways of real-time analogue music tracking convert score structure and acoustic information into continuous dynamic images. The interplay between basic principles of information capture and concrete simulation in the processing of music provides one crucial entry point to fundamental questions as to how music generates meaning and non-acoustic signification. Additionally, the considerations in this article may motivate the creation of new stimuli in empirical music research as well as stimulate new approaches to the teaching of music.

Keywords

Abstract animation, cross-modal expression, audiovisual synchrony, music expression, musical motion, Robert Schumann

How to Cite

Moshammer, G., (2023) “Abstract animation, emergent audiovisual motion and micro-expression: A case study of analogue music tracking with Robert Schumann’s Forest Scenes in AudioVisualizer”, Journal of Creative Music Systems 7(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.5920/jcms.1311

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Gerald Moshammer

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