February 22, 2013

Orchestrated Text

A Boing Boing and WIRED-featured experiment marrying classical music to descriptive text as you listen.

An experiment using synchronised text to accompany streamed music. Made over the 2012 Christmas holidays, I tied coded animated text to timestamps in an mp3 of Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’ to bring the stories and images within the composition to a new audience.

The concept: to take the brilliant content found in the liner notes of many classical music CDs, and create a digital product that deepens the experience of streaming music.

Users click on a piece to play it, and read along as text appears on screen detailing what’s happening in the music, what it depicts, and what the composer was inspired by.

In a nutshell, the page loads the song, and each piece of text has a ‘Time’ and an ‘Animation Instruction’. When the audio player reaches that time, the browser renders the text in the way specified by the Animation Instruction.

Version One (the prototype, proof of concept version) used Vivaldi’s ‘Winter’. It was featured on Boing Boing and Wired, and clocked up over 15,000 unique views in a week, with universally positive feedback.

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