27 January 2007

Learning from music

For those of us interested in either design or technology, there are some lessons we can learn from art forms like music. Like landscape architecture, music is highly accessible and something that many enjoy as an avocation. Here are a few musical explorations that I think raise an interesting question or two: What is the landscape architectural equivalent? Is GIS the technology to tell the landscape's story?

In an effort to help new listerners understand classical music, the San Francisco Symphony created a web experience that walks visitors through large musical pieces combining animation and explanations. The flash animation lets you see the musical score as the conductor would and helps you follow along. My favorite (so far) is Beethoven's Eroica Symphony which is not only a great stand alone composition, but also has a strong connection with European history. The application brings aspects to life very nicely.

This weekend NPR's Studio 360 visited R. Luke BuBois, a computer musician, whose talents include time-lapse music. But instead of playing the music fast, he uses computer algorithms to reduce music to an abstraction that preserves the key and certain tonal qualities but looses melodies and lyrics. Wired recently dissected some of the pieces of his latest CD, Timelapse, which is a time-lapse compilation of all of the songs that topped the chart for the last 42 years. (He has also made a video, called Academy, that applies a similar idea to every Academy awards Best Picture.)

1 comment:

Frora Bosh said...

Nice article ..I do agree with you there are some more fields which can get lessons from music.