Frame by frame time is brought to play on the image. The voice articulates time and this articulation is used to guide the movements in design before the motion can be seen. The interplay of real-time in sound and imagined time in animation keyframes can be called composition.
In the old days sound was added after the image was finished. Today sound still comes after the image in most "post-production" approaches: an after-image, after thought. Sound added later is too late to help decide a picture or its movement.
The animations represented on this page fly against the tradition of picture-first-sound-later. Musicians were involved in each of these projects from the beginning, contributing to storyboards, shaping narrative rhythms, making time for sounds to have their say.
Multi-track Music and FX: Venus and Milo Cox et. al. 1990. Voices, environmental sounds, music and flying chocolates remind us modern art is not so hard to swallow.
SFX Synchronized to Motion Paths: Garbage Cox et. al. 1991. Impact sounds are coordinated to animation data. When a bottle bounces on pavement, our software automatically obtains the appropriate sound and aligns it to the visual bounce.
Facial Expression Data Drives Sound Synthesis: The Listener Landreth and Bargar, 1991. Data from muscles in an animated face modulate rhythm and timbre, creating abstract electro-acoustic prose, which echos the facial expressions. Like animated imagination, the animated Listener's face generates sounds to which the Listener appears to be reacting.
Granular Sound Synthesis from Particle Systems; and Sound Control Signals Applied to Animated Facial Expressions: Data-Driven: The Story of Franz K. Landreth, 1993. Particle systems create swirls of sound from Franz's cigarette smoke, forming a 3D volumetric head. In return the head pours out musical data applied to the animation channels controlling Franz's face. His ecstasy results from a literal and numerical interpretation of the information content of music, transformed by a listener into an emotive response. Reversing the data control flow used in The Listener, this scene brings new meaning to the phrase face the music.
Composition on a Global Scale; Music and Motion Capture; Voice Morphing: The End Landreth and Bargar, 1995. A new tool, the NCSA Sound Server gives great flexibility and rapid prototyping of audio-visual algorithms. Sound synthesis happens in real-time on the same platform that renders the graphics. Creating The End in only six months was possible because we could test post-production concepts in production, while the frames were still in wireframe. No need to "fix it in the mix."For more information about our music compositions please listen to the Audio Group home page.