Created in 2002 by Jared Tarbell, Lola Brine, Corey Barton, and Wesley Venable, Moonlight is an interactive visualization of Beethoven’s No. 14 Sonata. As the audience member walked through the installation, colored blocks of varying opacity would display the sonata, allowing one to both see and hear the music being played. What I really admire about this project was not only the combination of computer generated colors and shapes, but also the fact that the user could modify these aspects of the installation as well. It really displays the power of computer science in art, as well as combing user experience and interactivity to create something truly musical. The creators had taken a MIDI file of the sonata, which was then compressed into an MP3 as well as converted in XML with the use of C++. By using an actual recorded performance, the creator’s ensure that, although the installation itself was generated, the integrity of the intial performance was maintained.
The first movement of the sonata, rendered into four sections.
The full sonata, displayed by using the varying degrees of opacity and color.