Follow Michael Betancourt on Twitter Facebook Fan Page

Movies by Michael Betancourt


   Digital Capitalism
   Glitch & Postdigital
   Motion Graphics
   My Movies
   Visual Music
   Watch Movies

 exhibitions [pdf]


   avant-garde movies, motion graphics, and theory

The Music Animation Machine

story © Michael Betancourt | published December 4, 2004 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

Visual Music

Information, a timeline and stills from Stephen Malinowski's computer-based project. Downloadable videos are also on his site.


Frequency Associations

story © Michael Betancourt | published December 3, 2004 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

Visual Music

The creative association between sound and experience is a common interest of both people making movies and people making visual music.

C. Michael Smith presents a new ageish list of correlations of sound with astrology, along with a listing of the major keys.

In contrast, this website makes a series of associations between hertz frequenceis and all sorts of things...

Not sure I believe everything either site claims, but it's interesting anyway.


The Scriabin Project (Visual Music)

story © Michael Betancourt | published December 2, 2004 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

Visual Music

Jeffrey Burns' The Piano of Light is a computer-driven visual music system created to play Scriabin's Prometheus and other pieces of visual music.

The press quoted on the page summarize the project pretty well: "With four contemporary works and the Seventh Sonata of Scriabin, together with a projection screen filled with graphics and the lively play of 60 spotlights onto an artificial 'sky' hung from Podewil's theater ceiling, the first performance on this 'instrument' became a rapturous multimedia event."- Neue Musikzeitung

read more


Visual Music Timeline

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 29, 2004 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

Visual Music

This timeline is one of the best summaries of the history and development of visual music I've seen on-line.


Scott Snibbe, Movies from 1990-1996

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 28, 2004 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

Visual Music

Scott Snibe has some movies for webbrowser: "I was searching for a way to make a hard-edged abstraction like Fischinger's by using my body directly as Lye did. In an epiphany one evening staring at the computer, I realized that the cursor was the most interesting object on the screen. Here was the only place that my body, through the mouse, came into the computer. Based on this understanding, I created Motion Sketch, which attaches the movements of ones hand to the movements of abstract forms. These forms exist in a short one-second loop. The temporal complexity comes from the continuous layering of these forms, creating a rich motion painting."


Oskar Fischinger Paintings

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 26, 2004 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

Visual Music

Paintings by Oskar Fischinger along with a basic bio.

It's funny to see how derivative his paintings look when compared to his films. I wonder if this is a common problem for artists working in a temporal medium when they attempt to work in a static one like painting.


Norman McLaren on DVD

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 24, 2004 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

Visual Music

I'm very happy to see this DVD come out. Norman McLaren: The Collector's Edition contains many of his best known works:, including his academny-award winning animation, Neighbors. Also included: Begone Dull Care, Pas de deux, Boogie-Doodle, Synchromy, Mosaic, A Phantasy, Blinkity Blank, Le Merle, Lines-Horizontal, A Chairy Tale, Animated Motion: Part 5, New York Lightboard Record, and Narcissus.


Bing Crosby and the Auroratone

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 16, 2004 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

Visual Music

According to Malcolm Macfarlane's Bing Crosby Diary 1940-1949, Crosby provided music for Cecil Stokes (1910-1956) for several Auroratone films used in mental hospitals by the US Government.

read more


Kaleidoscope Patents!

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 15, 2004 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

Visual Music

Jon Sondregger's site has a collection of kaleidoscope patents that include some visual music instruments.


Visual Music Instrument Patents, vol. 1 available

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 7, 2004 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

Visual Music

Visual Music Instrument Patents Volume One is a collection of primary source documents for visual music instruments, often called "color organs," gleaned from the United States Patent Office. Information about these devices is often only available through the inventor's patent applications, but these applications are not currently available except through the time-consuming process of searching Patent Office databases. This volume is an informational resource for those instruments that are already known and studied (Bishop, Rimington, Wilfred, Fischinger), and includes a number of patents for other instruments that have not been examined as thoroughly (Munsell, Hallock-Greenewalt, others). Volume One also includes a few patents that are related to visual music instruments such as systems of notation for writing visual music and devices for determining "color harmony" through a relationship to musical form.

Available Here