A Musical Realisation of Motion Graphics
In our search for new ideas, it would be a crime to forget that the past is a treasure-trove of inspiration. Digital art is not a particularly new idea, nor is multimedia the exclusive preserve of the information age. Just take a look at the Whitney Music Box, a project that appeals to our geeky maths-loving roots as well as our creative side.
Music is triggered by dots falling across a line which is made up of musically-tuned tines. There are 20 versions of the music box using different geometries, pitches and sounds, and there’s a hand-cranked version where you control the production of the music – great fun!
This digital music box is based on the work of John Whitney (1917 — 1995), an American filmmaker, composer and inventor who is one of the founding fathers of animation as well as a pioneer in electronically generating music.
It was Whitney who in 1958, together with legendary graphic designer Saul Bass, created the seminal animated title sequence for the Hitchcock film Vertigo. He created his animations using an analogue computer he built using parts salvaged from a WWII anti-aircraft gun director. In 1966 Whitney became IBM’s first artist-in-residence.
The music box you’ll find on the other end of the link was created rather more recently by Jim Bumgardner, currently Director of Application Development at Disney Interactive Labs / DigiSynd with a host of digital side-projects on the go.
It’s people like this who are a little bit nuts but filled with passion that create whole brave new worlds for us all to explore and enjoy. Now, that’s what we call inspiration!