Intro to The Vincent van Gogh Sonic Generator

My animations hinge upon digital transformations that often prove rhythmically jagged, the very antithesis of fluid pacing. Such animations are best experienced looping in silence, with viewers losing themselves in the digital processes manifesting. What I have in mind here is an animation whose jagged pacing can be harnessed sonically, even musically. I am posting it in Flash format. Its duration is 50.6 seconds before looping. Adding a soundtrack would work best sans looping. My aim is to sonically tap into Vincent van Gogh’s stark visual genius. No doubt, van Gogh saw the world differently from the rest of us. Looking at some of his paintings it is almost as if one sees a force field emanating from the subject matter. Using split-screen format, I incorporate two van Gogh paintings, Sunflowers (1888) and Mademoiselle Gachet at the Piano (1890), as root images for two animations running side-by-side. Sunflowers is a famous painting, likely familiar to anyone who knows van Gogh’s work, while Mademoiselle Gachet at the Piano is more obscure. The animations alternate between black and white and color. When one is in color, the other is in black and white. The Sunflowers animation takes up more screen space. On the surface it dominates, but only on the surface. Sonically the viewer’s attention should be directed toward the Mademoiselle Gachet at the Piano animation, which, in effect, functions as the Vincent van Gogh sonic generator of the title. I envision a stereophonically intense soundtrack, with the Mademoiselle Gachet at the Piano animation defining the overall aesthetic. Black and white versus color comes down to lyricism playing off dissonance, and I will leave it up to a sound designer/composer to determine whether black and white = dissonance and color = lyricism or the other way around. Sound designers/composers interested in creating a soundtrack for The Vincent van Gogh Sonic Generator should contact me here.

Peter Schmideg

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