Robert Krawczyk

Associate Professor/Associate Dean, Architecture
College of Architecture, Illinois Institute of Technology
Chicago, IL USA

The Art of Music: Exploring the Visualization of Music

A number of my print, sculptural, and architectural pieces have dealt with the mathematical interpretation or the physical manifestation of data ranging from the scientific to the everyday.

Each data type is unique and can suggest a form or a method to visualize which is beyond the actual meaning and purpose of the data itself. The value of the data can be viewed two dimensionally or three dimensionally. At times the relationship of data to physical form is obvious, at other times it is very subtle and abstract. The challenge is to develop both at the same time to attempt to extract the beauty in the data itself.

The next data set I wish to explore is music. Music can be expressed digitally in a MIDI file format. A MIDI file contains for each individual instrument each note played including its frequency, timings, and velocity. Preliminary explorations of this data have shown me that there is a large rich set of physical forms possible using such simple data. I would like to further explore this data in the form of drawings, laser cuts, 2D and 3D sculptural constructions, 3D digitally printed sculptural forms, and patterns that can be used in architectural design. A variety of scale will be investigated from jewelry to building facades and an overall building form. As many physical forms will be constructed as possible. The serial aspect of my work and the concept of developing family of images and forms will continue to be expanded.

This effort will result is a body of work that covers a number of different forms and interpretative explorations and a number of different musical types; from simple children songs to jazz, rock, country and western, and classical. Each may suggest their own interpretations. One overriding question will be “will they look like they sound?”.

Being able to see music will introduce another dimension to an already rich art form.

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star CII
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star CII
20 x 20 inches
canvas print

Twinkle Twinkle Little Star is represented measure by measure, including each note, in a concentric circular form. Each note is represented by an ellipse; size based on note length and frequency.