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Chapter 8: Visual Music


Visual Music is a genre of sonic art that attempts to place equal weight on the communicability of audio and visual art materials. It is a domain where composers preset their creative ideas through audio-visual relationships that seek to transcend the ordinary visual-dominant discourse of film and video, as well as the obvious limitations of audio-driven sonic visualisers. It is a discipline that seeks-out the in-between through the adoption of an audiovisual listening mode rather than an acousmatic one, and a genre that requires time investment and maturity on the part of the composer to gain an understand the rigours of its language. Visual music is bristling with creative potential, yet to date, very few works of quality have been produced. There are practical reasons for this - 21st-century technology is yet to provide satisfactory nuance-level production methods for managing such complex audio-visual relationships - although this situation is now beginning to change in the wake of VR development. In the near future we may see the emergence of a new VR-based version of this art form. 

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