Images Into Music – lecture notes

My second brief for the Music and Visual Media module is to create a sound or a piece of music that is related to a 2D piece of art – A painting, photograph or mixed media etc.

some examples of artists that listen to music and visualize it in their art are Jackson Pollock, Mondrian and Kandinsky. Kandinsky and Pollock are personal favourites of mine.

The Fibonacci Sequence appears in natural and biological settings. Its visual representation of the number sequence is also used and seen in design.

twitter fibonacci

This is an example of the visual representation being used in the design layout of twitters webpage.


Above is an example of punk aesthetic. David Carson is a graphic designer and was editor Dali Logofor Ray Gun – a magazine about alternative rock and roll. The magazine explored experimental typographic design, with the use of typography in an extreme form. This resulted in the magazine being quite distinctive from other magazine – very chaotic and abstract in style but was not very easy to read at times. To the right is David Carsons Dali logo designed for the Dali Museum.

The 8 Basic Principles of Design

  1. Balance – a state or equilibrium between forces
  2. Contrast – Interaction of contradictory elements, expresses the duality seen in opposites
  3. Emphasis – Establishing centers of interest which focus the viewer’s attention
  4. Direction – Both implied and actual, they help guide the eye and mind movement of the viewer. The can also bind the work into a single entity.
  5. Proportion – The size relationship of parts to the entire work, and each to the other. very often associated with figural art.
  6. Scale – Real apparent size seen in relation to other objects, people, its environment or the proportions of the picture plane.
  7. Rhythm – the recurrence of a design element couple with a certain order to the repetition. Provides continuity, flow, direction forces etc. (this is also important in music)
  8. Unity – The force operating in a work of art which can give it the appearance of oneness or resolution. The consistency of the concept.

Gestalt – A German theory, you have gestalt when you see the whole image first then you start to see individual parts of the image. this is a very famous example of this theory. do you see the silhouettes or the vase first?

Arts 6 Visual Elements

  1. Line
  2. Shape
  3. Form
  4. Tone
  5. Colour
  6. Space
  7. Texture

After some background theory on design we started to have a go at putting words into a visual form. We were only allowed to use black and white paper and the shape of a square.

The first was DOMINANT. I decided to cut out a small black cube and place it next to a considerably larger and more dominant one.


The second was TENDERNESS. I saw this as a physical object that was vulnerable. My representation of the word was of a tower of blocks that was falling down.

Lastly we were played a song – ‘Holy Thursday’ by David Axelrod. This time we were allowed to use different colours and shapes baring in mind that the eye sees hot colours i.e. red first then cooler colours after. So I made this. I cant really explain much about it as just felt it should be like this. The song was quite colourfully shaped and full of texture. Visually I thought it looked as if it was playing in a large place – with the big string and brass sections playing one of the statements that is carried most of the way through the song. My visualization of the song reminds me a lot of Kandinsky who would paint with music, I think I am influenced by Kandinsky quite a lot in this type of process. I think it is a really interesting way to work, especially to see how and what other people visualize music as.


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