In his projects, American visual artist Aaron Meyers has been dealing with the aspects of the visualization of sound and music. His freely available application Fieldlines, made as a supplement for the Flying Lotus record cover, functions as an interactive installation, and will be shortly discussed in the following interview.
We deal with the category of "color music", have you ever been interested in it from the historical point of view?
I definitely look at visual music with a historical perspective. I particularly love to work of Oskar Fischinger, Norman McLaren and John Whitney. I have this one book by John Whitney called "Digital Harmony" where he talks about his philosophy of how the building of tension and release in tonal harmony can be applied to visual material and animation, which I think is greatly inspiring to me. These early figures in visual music laid a foundation for everything that came after so I feel indebted to their achievements. Of course, the big difference is that now we have tools that let us create these kinds of animations in realtime, which makes it performative and I think that is what I'm most excited about.
What was the technological process of your work when you created Fieldlines for Flying Lotus?
Fieldlines began as an interactive sketch based on the album cover for Cosmogramma. I'd been playing around with software I'd made that simulated magnetic fieldlines. Simultaneously, I'd been flipping through Wikipedia articles on subjects like solar wind and the Earth's magnetosphere. So when I saw the cover artwork for Cosmogramma, it just seemed like a natural fit for all this material I was already digging into. Flying Lotus gave me some sound files and I sort of chopped them up into pieces and came up with a treatment for how those sounds could work with the animation and interaction of the software. And then I just worked at finessing it and polishing it up into a finished piece.
Martin Mazanec with Aaron Meyers