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Published on May 4, 2012
ANDREW LUCIA, co-director and computational design WENDY STEINER, co-director and producer Music by FRANCES WHITE. Commissioned and performed by PARTHENIA. Sound recorded by PETER KARL STUDIOS.
TRACES ON THE FARTHER SIDE (2011), a music visualization in real time, seeks visual expression for the delicacy and otherworldliness of Frances White's A FLOWER ON THE FARTHER SIDE (2010), whose inspiration in turn lies in a chant by the medieval mystic, Hildegard of Bingen. TRACES assigns each of the four viols and the prerecorded track of wind sounds and viol chords to its own panel, where they generate colored marks according to the characteristics of their unfolding sound. The prerecorded line in the middle panel keeps within its bounds with the stability of a cantus firmus, whereas the four viols are given the freedom to interact unpredictably, simulating the communicative nods and glances of PARTHENIA's musicians as they play. No two runs of the app for TRACES can be exactly the same, and so the final frames of this programmed creation have the individuality of handmade works of art.
TRACES was built with PROCESSING, implementing the MINIM and BEADS libraries. What appears here is a video capture of one run of the visualization.