Visual Music Systems


Bill Sebastian

Back in the 1970’s, Bill developed the Outer Space Visual Communicator (OVC), a visual music instrument that generated images on a custom-built display. Performances were given at various theatres in Boston and New York, with the Sun Ra Arkestra and other musicians. This was followed by the development of equipment to map video images of the OVC into custom built video effects and processing devices and production of videos with Sun Ra and other musicians. Magazine articles about the OVC as well as pictures, videos, and technical details are available on the OVC page.

The original OVC was followed by design of a 3D version of the system, and a company Virtual Scene Systems was formed to develop hardware and software for this project. When the company ran out of funding, a new company Intelligent Compression Technologies (ICT) was formed to commercialize data compression algorithms that had been developed during this project. These systems were licensed to Real Networks, Compaq Computer, Novell and other computer networking companies.

In 1998, Nortel Networks licensed the compression engine and then funded ICT to develop a wireless network acceleration system based on this engine. The result was AcceleNet, which was first released in 2001, and was licensed to wireless and dial-up Internet service providers. Microsoft licensed the system for use by MSN and incorporated it into the MSN browser.

In February, 2007, ICT was sold to ViaSat, which manufactures satellite data communications equipment and is launching the ViaSat-1 Ka-band satellite this August. ViaSat purchased WildBlue in October, 2009, which provides Internet service to 400,000 families in the US. Bill worked as CTO of the network optimization group at ViaSat for the next 4 years, authoring over 40 patents covering various aspects of satellite networking.

In March, 2011, Bill founded Visual Music Systems to resume the development of the 3D synthesizer.

Bob Eastwood

Bob has known Bill longer than either care to admit. Bob worked with Bill at Virtual Scene Systems and subsequently co-founded Accelenet (ICT) After the sale of Accelenet to ViaSat Bob devoted his free time to his favorite past-times; his kids and his motorcycles. In early ’11 Bill asked if Bob was interested in being part of the realization of his lifelong ambition and Visual Music Systems was launched.

As for the technical stuff, Bob graduated from U.W. Madison with a B.S. in CSEE. He spent ten years as a Research Engineer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the Department of Ocean Engineering developing control systems for underwater robots, exploring wrecks, and poking things into hydrothermal vents. While at WHOI Bob authored numerous scientific papers on underwater vehicle, instrumentation, and communcation technologies.