Visual music is a sensory experience, not a logical experience. Imagine listening to Beethoven and thinking how the French horns sound like your grandmother’s car. That type of thinking uses the wrong part of your brain and takes away your ability to enjoy the musical experience. Instead, we try to sit back and allow the show to become a sensory experience—a treat for our ears without the need to find symbolism in every note and sound.
Imagine a percussion piece. All drums, nothing else. Then the arranger adds in a piano. But, instead of letting the pianist explore the range of the piano, the arranger has the pianist track the drums note for note, beat for beat. Is that creation or a waste of the possibilities of a piano?
Audio music does not translate directly to visual music, no more than a drum composition can dictate the piano solo. Yet, there are corollaries between many elements of musical composition and visual music. What follows aren’t rules but ideas of how to create visual music.
Most visual art is art is created and then viewed. The painter finishes the painting and then you view it. The film maker finishes production and then you view it. This creates a separation of the consciousness of perceiving the visual images with that of creating it, preventing direct communication between the artist and the audience.
We are constructing a language of visual music. This language relies on non-symbolic communication. Rather than relying on past experiences and taught words to help viewers understand our language, we are communicating through feelings and sensations. This language is created by the visual musician every time they craft a piece yet, like every language ours too has a grammar and a vocabulary.