I really do enjoy seeing experiments on the web. With the advent of social media, these types of projects are nice reminders that there can still be wonder online. That we can still explore and marvel at possibilities and combinations that don’t have anything to do with commerce. They feel like reminders not of the page or the site being viewed, but of the creators and the viewers. The people behind all those many screens.
Has it really been twelve years since Line Rider debuted? Oh wow, and the original version was on Deviant Art? I feel pretty good about having a post from 2006 talking about it, but that fact also makes me feel impossibly old.
I’m introducing things in a kind of non-linear way here. Mostly because I want you to experience the same process I experienced, earlier today. So first up, I’d say watch the video below. It’ll give you a bit of context about the song, and after it dives into the specifics… give a pause. And then keep on reading.
Debussy Dots: The Snow is Dancing is a fantastic visualization by Alexander Chen. It’s mesmerizing, and absolutely a lovely experience. I’m reminded of one of my favorite musical visualizations: Sonar. As I was looking over other musical visualizations I liked, I realized that I’ve mentioned Chen’s work on here a number of times. He’s also the author of Conductor and…
Powered by the many, many users of GitHub, the site plays a single tone any time a user performs a specific action (closes a pull request, pushes a commit, etc). Additionally, each event also triggers a small animation of a circle, slowly expanding and fading away.
Yume is an interactive song that you can control in your browser. Created by White Vinyl, you can move some of the elements on the page to adjust the volume of various samples.
“The videos activate our voyeurism, the sound recordings tempt us with secrets, and the data promises a kind of omniscience, but all of it is a mirage — there is no one here to watch, there is no secret to find, and the data, which seems to be so important, is actually absurd. In this sense, the project mirrors the experience of browsing the web – full of tantalizing potential, but ultimately empty of life.”
I was reminded a lot of the Music Animation Machine, and how amazing those visualizations were to see over 11 years ago. I can’t recall specifically whether that project was an inspiration for my attempt at visualization (back when I still used Flash, and Gould” target=”_blank”>animated a Bach piece by Glenn Gould).
Design agency Sid Lee made a fantastic dashboard tracking a lot of useless info in and around their Paris office. Curious how much water they’ve had so far today? Or perhaps how many times they’ve flushed the toilet? All this and more is available online, and updated in real-time.
In the early years of this blog, I would find myself taking photos at parties in a frantic attempt to document the event. Over time, I realized I was taking myself out of the very thing I was wanting to remember. I want to think I’ve gotten better about such things, but it’s difficult to avoid the pull of social media – wanting to tell everyone Hey, look at what a great time I’m having!.
The first 60 seconds or so are exactly what I was looking to do with a song by The Books entitled Tokyo: apply a small animation to a specific instrument or musical phrase, and try to map out the entire song as a series of tiny animated clips.
Sonar is an absolutely beautiful animation. It syncs up with the music in a lovely way, and I’ve watched this repeatedly now for a few times. I can’t seem to find much about this, beyond the fact that it was uploaded by YouTube user techdx5 about a year ago. Tracked down the video to Renaud Hallée, who can also be…
Before there was the hyperlink, there was the Choose Your Own Adventure book. A throwback to the 1980’s, these books were for many of us an introduction to fantasy, science fiction, non-linear storytelling… and the computer games we know today. While most books began with backstory or setup, the reader would soon find themselves at a page where a decision…