As a kid I had a couple of picture books which visualised sound — natural and orchestral — as lines and brightly coloured abstract shapes and star-bursts. I loved them (and should look them out and scan some pages) but of course you couldn’t actually hear the sounds being visualised, and the images were still. Animation that illustrates music isn’t a new idea, either, but I do actually love the overlap between graphic scores, score-composition and realisation considered as a programming software, and interwoven sound and vision unfolding in real time.* Here’s someone doing it with Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring.

The Adoration of the Earth:

The Exalted Sacrifice:

Sourcing link via Mike Atkinson on Twitter: the write-up maybe makes a bit too much play of the so-called riot at the first performance (which was afterward somewhat amped up by all concerned). Stravinsky later said the hubbub was more to do with lewd gestures Nijinsky was making than the sounds or concept: Nijinsky had sadly by that time been driven insane by the war and never got to answer back.

*(The musical score is an incredibly robust system of organised sound delivery, of course, but there are several aspects of it that make it a bit rebarbative as a way to understand and analyse structure and such, unless you’re a superb reader of music. When the arrangement gets busy, a score becomes a mazy cloud of flyspeck detail, two seconds to each page of a score (while in less busy sections, a page can contain many minutes of music). So something unfolding evenly and in real time — with actual colours for tone colour and so on — unveil patterns to newbies that the sheer scale (heh) of a big work will mask.)