Project diary: music made visible

When he was asked to take part in charity design competition Secret 7”, Matt H Booth took it as an excuse to begin experimenting. Many of those experiments found their way into his self initiated project, Visualiser, in which they were developed to create an ongoing live music visualisation piece.


I was originally invited by Kevin King, creator of the charity design Project Secret 7”, to produce new Artwork for one of the seven tracks to be re-pressed. I chose to work with Elton John’s Bennie & The Jets.

The design that I produced was created using the sound data from the song. Letting sound create visual design is something I’ve been interested in for a while now: it’s fascinating what can be achieved by changing predefined variables and by using diff erent sound sources.

There was lot of experimenting to get to my final design for the Secret 7” submission, and some of this experimentation in turn spawned new personal projects – including Spectrum, which provided the artwork for the Secret 7” limited edition print. From Spectrum, I developed my Visualiser tool.

Visualiser essentially takes the live feed of a chosen music track, and displays the sound spectrum data – in this case around a circle. Experimenting with diff erent songs, shapes, colours and so on produces unique visualisations. Pausing the song at any point means that not only can I see what the song is doing at that moment, but it also allows me to export that visual for use in other work, or as a standalone piece. The first stage of this was to have some one-off giclée prints produced.

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