Visual Music Systems
About Visual Music
Meeting Sun Ra
Back in the early 1970s, Bill was living in Boston and beginning to experiment with visual music. His friend Jim Washington was helping him explore...
Why the OVC?
Music is an act of discovery, more than a craft. Yes, you have to learn how to hit all of the notes, play all of the chords but the point is what you...
Logic and making visual music
Our goal in creating visual music is to share a world beyond the logical, rational world that our eyes usually show us. Yet there is a logic, a...
Mastering the moving target
Back in the 1970s, computers were clunky and the only way to make visual music was with a towering, looming machine. Flash forward to the age of super...
The perseverance in creativity
There are lots of theories out there about creativity from Skinner’s theory that creative people are no more original than a chicken laying an egg to...
Dr. Seuss and visual music
Besides Sun Ra, Dr. Seuss has been one of the biggest influences on the creation of the OVC-3D and on Bill’s approach to music and reality. The Cat in...
Are alternative realities politically incorrect?
I have been bored by reality for a long time. I am annoyed that the images presented to my eyes are formed by photons bouncing off surfaces without...
Creating colors in a shadow world
When you work in a range too dark for the cones in the eyes to perceive, you can create images that the viewer half sees and half imagines. This is...
Inventing colors in VR
In environments where an artist has total control over the optics, colors can be created which do not exist in normal environments. Blues can be...
The ephemeral nature of color in VR
Virtual reality artists have the freedom to manipulate viewers’ perceptions of colors by controlling how many colors and what colors are shown at once...
Seeing color in a HMD
Light does not have color—and our perception of color is relative. You might not notice this in a brightly lit room but put on a HMD and you can...
It was 1979. Bill was performing with Sun Ra’s Arkestra at the SoundScapes Performance Center on West 55th street in Manhattan. The band was doing...
It was the early 1980s, maybe 1981. Bill had a fellowship type position at the University of Mass in Boston at the Center for Media Development. The...
Screen size and design in VR
Turns out the first TV screens were really small—and the original movie screens weren’t that much better if you were in the back row. VR environments...
Am I moving? How to create a sense of movement in VR
The sensation of movement in visual music is what gives the viewer a sense of rhythm and the physical sensation of being in the environment. Yet...