4D Music is a Research and Development project created by BAFTA award-winning Braunarts and developed in collaboration with Birmingham Contemporary Music Group (BCMG). Braunarts worked closely with Nancy Evans from the Learning department of BCMG to develop the 4D Music project. The first outing for 4DMusic was for the BCMG Family Concerts in mid-January 2008. The excerpts on these pages are from those concerts.
We are continuing to work on the 4DMusic software and welcome opportunities to develop these ideas further.
We designed 4D Music to visually illuminate the structure of a composition, in real time, as it is being performed by a live orchestra. Projecting the 4DMusic animation onto large screens enables the audience to see the moving graphics, hear the music and see the performance at the same time. This multi-sensory approach was a big hit with the audience at these concerts.
4D Music has been designed to both entertain and inform a wide range of audiences, from kids who are new to orchestral music through to serious music lovers. In 4DMusic we have invented a way to visually represent the music that can be intuitively understood by any audience, without the need to be able to read traditional music notation.
Although a number of people are working on variations on this idea - so far we have not seen any music driven animation that is sufficiently sophisticated or responsive to illuminate Contemporary or Classical music in this way.
"Young ears and imaginations are much more able to respond to the impressionistic bill than us adults steeped in melody and rhythm. Throughout, digital projections and manipulations by Terry Braun added another layer, a further entry point for our appreciation."
The programme for the concert was carefully chosen for a young audience and included short pieces which reflected a range of musical devices and styles: 'New York Counterpoint' by Steve Reich (two movements), 'Three Pieces for String Quartet' by Igor Stravinsky, 'Wynter Music' by Philip Cashian, 'Derive 1' by Pierre Boulez and 'That Man's Talking Nonsense' by Peter Wiegold.
The core creative team for this 4D Music concert was Terry Braun and Gabi Braun of Braunarts, Nancy Evans of BCMG, Rob Godman of the University of Hertfordshire, and Peter Wiegold.
R & D documentary video recording