Clip01, click thumbnails for full size frames.
I see shapes, light against a dark background. The shapes appear discontinuous that is, as a series of still frames that repeat. However they don’t seem to repeat in order, or at a set rate. They speed up and slow down (1). About 2/3 of the way through i see people. Sometimes the shapes appear to change in sync with the sound, sometimes not (2).
Horizontal bars, some wide, some not so wide, run though the shapes. The wide bars seem to be associated with the low tones, the narrow bars with higher frequencies. I’m not sure if the bars are moving up or down. In general I would say they are moving up, through the frame from the bottom to top (3).
As mentioned above, the shapes appear as white against a black background, the bars, however, are multicolored. They start off yellow, orange, cyan and light blue. Only 1 or 2 seconds into the clip I see green and purple. By 30 seconds I’m seeing deeper reds and blues. Midway through the clip blues and purple dominate.
The sound transitions slowly and shifts, or jumps, in octaves (4). Low pitches anchor the sound, the higher pitches act as accents (5). About a 1 min 20 sec into the clip tones are held for several seconds at a time, and the bars appear to slow down and speed up along with subtle pitch shifts. Around 1 min 40 sec the pitch drops, the bars widen. The clip ends.
(1) I’m sort of cheating here. I know that these are still images, 24 photos taken at a film showing in Johnson City. They are being played back in random order, with random duration, using a Processing sketch.
(2) It seems that although there’s no link between the random projection of the images and the sound, the mind will attempt to sync them up. So when, by chance, the speed of change of the images matches changes in the sound, the viewer experiences the images and sounds as being synced.
However the bars and the sound are directly linked. Low pitches produce wide bars, higher pitches narrow bars. Pitch changes control the movement. This also might influence the viewers’ perception, reinforcing the idea that images and sounds are synced.
(3) The size of the horizontal bars is related to pitch, and the pitch is related to vertical sync. As the pitch shifts it goes in and out of phase with vertical sync and the bars appear to move up or down through the frame.
(4) The Doepfer VCO has an rough tuning selector, low to hi, that jumps in octaves.
(5) I’m not sure if this is because we expect the lead to higher in pitch than the rhythm section, or because the high pitched, narrow bars appear over the low pitched, wider bars.