Visual Inspiration

Although I’m a musician, and generally quite creatively minded, I have next to no visual skills. I can put things in order, but I can’t make them look attractive or stylish, they just look…organised. And usually they aren’t even in order, just in an order that makes sense to me. To use a quick example: my bookcase. Did you know there are people whose jobs are literally to style bookcases? Yeah. Seriously. 

Ideally, my books would look something like the image on the right. Unfortunately, they actually look like the image below:

This isn’t ideal. The problem is partly that I have too many books and not enough shelf space – that’s only two shelves out of eight! – but also because I haven’t figured out a good system yet. At the moment they’re roughly alphabetised – ie, all the As are together, next to all the Bs, as this means that I can return a book to roughly the right place without having the mental gymnastics of working out whether Grisham comes before Grace etc etc. But as you can see, it’s pretty messy. I hate double stacking and horizontal stacking but I don’t really have a choice. And wheras in the bookcase above, all the little objects seem to be meaningfully placed, mine just look a bit random. Sigh.

But now to the actual point of this post: despite not being visually orientated at all in terms of output, I think I’m really sensitive to visual stimulation, as it were. In other words, I’m really inspired by imagery and I find it quite easy to imagine inspiring imagery to music, for example, despite not being able to actually recreate this in reality. I keep a tumblr of images I find inspiring / beautiful, and you can tell from my room on the right that I really enjoy being surrounded by these beautiful images.

This here is a video showing a 3D visualisation of a short clip of music – something I find really fascinating. I really enjoy how the ambience is depicted right at the beginning.

This is a different, more literal way of visualising music, which strikes me as a bit arbitrary. You could just read notes, I think.

My favourite is this video: I think it strikes a really good balance between visualising literally and more musically, as it were: you can see the velocities of the different notes and it’s really interesting seeing how all the parts interact. I think of this as sort of an interactive mini-score, with the added benefit of playback and pretty colours. This probably isn’t the most artistic, but definitely the most useful.

Anyway: I’m hoping to interview a few synaesthetic friends and also talk about my own experience of synaesthesia in a later post. This is a subject I find really interesting and possibly something I’d want to explore more indepth in future, even if it’s a bit technology-heavy and classical-bass light! Also coming up is a post about the compositional process of She’s So Old, from Colton’s Big Night. See you soon!

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