< Dr. Mark Pilkington » Coding Visuals for Music

Describing the interaction of audio-visual phenomena through the appliance of code to constantly respond to changing states of musical flux. Creating analogies to ever changing ways of connectivity, flow of information and social networks.

Properties of Visual Music:

– graphic score-in-motion.

– symbolic association for sound

– spatial field.

Types of motion:

– Generative instance/gesture to produce multiple of outcomes.

Coding visuals allows the composer to make visual changes in response to an audio-visual input/output. The architecture of a coded system offers a form of process that allows the composer to continuously alter structural elements.


1. Foreign Tongues (2015)

I was invited by the composer Daniel Kidane to develop a graphical system to reflect the musical characteristics of his LSO commissioned score Foreign Tongues.. The visuals were produced live with code to produce a sequence of iterative patterns that reflected the instantaneous dynamic changes in the music. The lines created geometric shapes that overlap and intersect revealing a dynamic sense of movement. Visual forms similar to those found in Russian constructivism visual artist’s work of Alexander Rodchenko and Lyubov Popova.  Providing an alternative way of making objects in order to replace traditional ideas of composition with ideas of ‘construction’.


‘Foreign Tongues’ composed by Daniel Kidane (2015).

2. Visualisation of Richard Scotts ‘Several circles'(2013) presents a kinesthetic use of computer code to generate a real-time simulation. In this instance, a single arbitrary image (.jpg) is transformed using FFT mapped across a pixel array within a 3 dimensional virtual space.