Ruslan Kamolov and Penousal Machado

M.Sc. Student / Assistant Professor
CISUC, Department of Informatics Engineering, University of Coimbra
Coimbra, Portugal
Musical Flocks is a project in the field of music visualization. It produces animations by simulating the behavior of agents that react to the sound of music. Swarm-like behavior is attained by following rules of separation, alignment and cohesion. This process produces reactive animations and static artifacts that constitute representations of the pieces.

The visual appearance of this project was inspired on the abstract expressionism, creating both simple and complex geometric shapes with high color contrast. The experimentation was focused on uniting the narrative potential of music with abstract organic forms.

Slow music makes the flock react gently and move slowly, while a high tempo results in fast movement and abrupt changes. Sounds with high volume and rich frequency spectrum affect the majority of the boids, while low volume level and less quantity of active frequencies produces subtle visual variations and a slower graphic evolution.
"Five Armies"
84x18 cm
Inkjet print on Photo Rag Bright White paper / Computer Animation
2013
This series is composed of three visualizations of the piece "Five Armies" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). This musical piece with an epic undertone features a wide variety of instruments (Cellos, French Horns, Trombones, Violins, Marimba, Trumpets, Percussion, Oboes, Clarinets, Flutes, Basses). The escalating ending provokes large perturbations of the flock leaving a distinct signature in the static and animated pieces.
The non-deterministic nature of the process implies that the final outcome may vary from one run to the other. Nevertheless, as it can be observed, the consistency among different visual representations of the piece is preserved.
"Jackhammer"
84x18 cm
Inkjet print on Photo Rag Bright White paper / Computer Animation
2013
This series is composed of three visualizations of the piece "Jackhammer" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). This piano piece is classified by the author as aggressive, driving and intense. These characteristics are particularly visible in the animations, but are also present in the static representations.
"Summon the Rawk"
84x18 cm
Inkjet print on Photo Rag Bright White paper / Computer Animation
2013
This series is composed of three visualizations of the piece "Summon the Rawk" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com). This rock piece, filled with double kick drums and aggressive bass, is characterized by its darkness and fast tempo. These features cause large pertrubations in the movement of the flock, making it transverse significant portions of the canvas.

Acknowledgments: This research is partially funded by FEDER through POFC – COMPETE, project VisualyzARt with reference QREN 23201 and iCIS project (CENTRO-07-ST24-FEDER-002003), which is co-financed by QREN, in the scope of the Mais Centro Program and European Union's FEDER.