Lily S Portfolio

Lily Donovan-Seid
Portfolio review for CHID 496

Initially, I was curious about how the principles of unity and variety within a strong composition applied to both musical and visual pieces. In terms of a project, however, I couldn’t think of something that would relate to this idea in an interesting or revealing way. I then began to think about how, if given a piece of music, I would compose an image, series of images, or film to represent or go along with it. From these thoughts I composed my research questions as follows:

Given an art piece, how would I create a piece of music to accompany it?
Given a piece of music, how would I create a piece of art to illustrate it?
How do the principles of “unity and variety” apply within a design or musical composition?

For the first project, Jane, Trang, and I decided to take a somewhat abstract song and using found images, construct a kind of music video that would accompany it. From we were able to find some interesting and also somewhat abstract clips from which to build our piece. The film was mainly black and white, and ended up being quite abstract and almost hypnotic to watch. This project became almost a direct translation from my second research question.

For our second project I had originally decided to do the inverse—find a piece of visual art and construct a series of notes or sounds or music to accompany it. But our first project had brought up some interesting questions. We found that the images in combination with the song gave the audio-visual experience a certain mood or feeling. We wondered how the same song with very different visuals would change this general feeling of the experience. So from the same site we searched for and retrieved very different visuals from the first one. These images were mostly color, and the images were very clear in content. There was still a certain abstraction to some of the clips and the editing of them, but on the whole they were a very different set than the first one.

We found that while the first composition had been more music-centric, the second one the audience was much more focused on the images presented. I feel that the abstractness of the images allowed the viewer to have a more personal interaction with the video. You were able to get lost in the images and not worry about plot or reason. It was a much more introverted experience. The second video, however, you were much more focused on the images as they were clearly represented and seemed to have some kind of plot or deeper meaning. Some of the juxtapositions were quite funny which let to a more extroverted experience. Both of these projects were quite interesting in their production as well as our observations on the final product.

In the future, if I have this opportunity again, I will definitely look into more ideas on the subject. I was quite interested in several of the other projects presented. I think I’d like to learn more about color organs, which I came upon in my research, and some of the computer applications demonstrated in class that can create interesting visual music compositions. In conclusion, this class has been an interesting experience that has many possibilities for exploration in the future.

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