Brain Pickings

The Mother of All Music Visualization

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What global warming has to do with the formative role of music in 20th-century culture.

Two of our most popular recent stories, the fan-made Goldfrapp music video and the brilliant new album by David Byrne and Brian Eno, meet today in the mother of all music visualization.

After observing how reactive traditional music videos are, with their meticulous film direction, legendary motion graphics designer and ex-DJ Jakob Tröllback began an experimental animation project. He took David Byrne and Brian Eno’s 25-year-old track Moonlight in Glory and completely removed the human producer/director element, letting the music itself be the voice that the animation follows.

The result is a stunning visualization that makes the music, as well as its message, all the more impactful — and we’re particularly mesmerized by it because it tackles the rather timely, pressing issue of environmental apocalypse.

The Rest Is Noise Watch Jacob Tröllback’s full (and by full we mean 4-minute) TED talk about it.

Meanwhile, enrich yourself with New Yorker music critic Alex Ross’ freshly released book, The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century.

If there ever was a grand revelation of music’s formative role in social psychology and cultural anthropology, that would be the one.

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