Gadgets, gizmos and musical mandalas…

21 Sep

Yes, I’ve been fiddling with technology again, in pursuit of new and interesting forms of audio visual entertainment.

The latest addition to my electronic arsenal is nothing fancy or complicated however, in fact it’s nothing more than a child’s toy.
The Android phone application, Magic Paint Kaleidoscope, is a digital art maker that enables you to produce an infinite number of fantastic patterns in a variety of shapes and colours, just like the ones I remember seeing through the eyepiece of a cheap tin tube filled with glass beads when I was a kid, but with an added twist.
Once you have created your patterns, you can play them back, watching them evolve from blank page to mind-bending, multi-coloured mandalas before your eyes.


Having got the hang of switching between colours and styles, discovering how to create specific designs by using various parts of the screen and managing to make some pretty pictures with vibrant colours and a distinctly psychedelic flavour, I began to consider the animation possibilities of this new gadget.

My first idea was to add small amounts of the design at a time, taking individual frames of each stage and then animating them to show the build up of the pattern, then possibly adding music to the resulting clip.
This worked fine, but it made for a rather jarring animation, each new layer of the design appearing instantly over the previous one, without the smooth drawing action I was after.
That was when it occurred to me to simply film the playback of the pattern and then dub music over it afterwards.

I hadn’t got as far as composing a custom soundtrack for the finished video at this point, so I used an old piece of music that I made a few months back, called Gothic, and simply kept adding to my pattern until the running time was the same as the music.
This is the result. I call it Kaleidogothic.

I watched it about half a dozen times before I stopped being incredibly impressed with my own staggering genius, (a fairly standard reaction I have to any flash of brilliant inspiration that comes to me) and then started work on a custom made, fully synchronised, bespoke tune for an all new project.

I turned to my trusty Oscilab loop maker/sequencer and, whilst watching the kaleidoscopic masterpiece that I’d carefully created, playing back on my phone, I composed and recorded a live mix on my tablet that fitted perfectly with the evolving patterns in front of me.
After that it was simply a matter of dubbing the sound over the visuals and voila! an original artwork with specially composed soundtrack.

So with no more ado than saying that I hope you enjoy my latest composition, allow me to present Psycheleidoscope.

I tend to get on a bit of a roll once I find a new muse, so I continued to play with musical ideas, attempting more of a long-form piece, without the accompanying visuals.
The result is an eight minute trance-like psychedelic jam, that I have uploaded to Soundcloud, which reminds me of the motorik rhythms of Krautrock.

So, lay back, close your eyes and chill out to the sound of Motorix.


{All the audio visual experiments you could ever want are of course available via my Sound and Vision page}


Posted by on September 21, 2014 in aardvark, Animation, Arts, Music, Photography


Tags: , , , , ,

4 responses to “Gadgets, gizmos and musical mandalas…

  1. Adam Pain

    September 21, 2014 at 17:57

    There’s something completely hypnotic about that second video. Good job, sir!

    • dalecooper57

      September 21, 2014 at 18:16

      Cheers Adam. Hope you listened to the epic that is MOTORIX, that’s my favourite musical piece so far I think.

  2. Ho

    September 22, 2014 at 08:48

    Outstanding Stuff ! Have been playing Motorix in particular on rotation. Got me digging out the classic Krautrock too, here’s a blast from ’76..

    • dalecooper57

      September 22, 2014 at 22:24

      Cheers Ho, thought you’d like it. Nice bit of Cluster in that link. Some other good stuff on that YouTube page too, thanks.


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