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Stephen Malinowski And His Amazing Music Animation Machine


Stephen Malinowski

Stephen Malinowski, an American composer, pianist but also software engineer, has produced an amazing amount of musical animations, all posted on his YouTube Channel, visualizing music using colors and symbols. These videos are truly amazing as they allow you to follow a Mozart Concerto, a Beethoven or Brahms String Quartet, as they are suddenly transformed into colorful animations. He has uploaded more than 400 videos and has received more than 135 millions of views!

His computer program, the Music Animation Machine, animates music on horizontal lines, each color representing a different instrument, and the result looks a bit like a Technicolor and animated version of a musical score, it’s just much easier to follow because dots, lines and triangles move according to the music, and you can truly visualize each instrument’s line during a symphony, concerto or sonata.. however it can become quite complicated too. I have watched this famous Mozart’s Clarinet concerto and the experience made me as close to a synesthetic state as I will ever be.

He started developing his idea in 1974 after taking LSD and listening to Bach, and he now has a version that can synchronize his animations with realtime performances. Of course, avant-garde artist Björk discovered him on Youtube and she used some of his animations for the apps in her Biophilia project.

Musicians who read music will probably make fun of this, but it’s beautifully done, with a lot of variation in the graphics. I didn’t know which video to choose there are just too many of them, but this Bach’s concerto had nice graphics! Just pick your favorite one here.

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