tonecolor - visual music arts
Feature Articles ... Calendar ... Tonecolor Connections
Imaja SoftwareTonecolor is a resource for those interested in the close connections between music and visual arts. Included are artist/musician listings and articles on tools and ideas regarding the audio/visual connection.

Feature Articles


Tonecolor Connections

The following artist/musicians are working in the area of closely connected music and visual arts.

Glenn McKay

Altered StatesAltered States:

Available from Imaja

Working in the infinite resolution of analog light art, Glenn is a master of original handpainted slides and oil dish projections. He fills a 20 foot square wall with exquisite tranparencies and abstract visual space, drawing on a 30 years of experience in music visuals for bands such as the Jefferson Airplane and the Grateful Dead. McKay’s installation at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art in January 1999 presented 4 decades of his work, captured on the Altered States DVD.

Greg Jalbert
Tel: 510-526-4621

Bliss Paint imageThe author of Imaja's Bliss Paint software for Mac OS 9, and founder of Imaja, Jalbert creates abstract psychedelic animations with an original sense of color and form, highly interactive with incoming MIDI and keyboard input. Jalbert has performed with the Grateful Dead, D'Cuckoo, Haunted by Waters, CELL, Zero, The Radiators, and has also composed and performed music for Glenn McKay's light shows.
PicScanImaja also created Astral Blossom: a fantastic screen saver for Mac OS X. Astral Blossom features color themes, speed control, and other options to control symmetry, edge effects and randomization. This is a wonderful generative art presentation; the cosmic lotus mandalas are quite mesmerizing. Download the demo version and check it out!

Denise Gallant

WatercolorsDenise Gallant has a primary role in the development of analog video synthesis. The Synopsis Video synthesizer (the synth is 28 years old, but it still works, more than can be said for computer software-based systems) was used for live video in clubs and concerts - used by The Grateful Dead, Supertramp and Tangerine Dream, as well as for commercials and effects for film. A collection of videos are available on DVD video from

Stefan G. - CultureLab

Film, video & multimedia production, director of numerous music videos, production services for feature films, event production management & services. Future D.J. Science (combining turntables, live performers, realtime remixing & live computer action, With collaborator Frank Colin, Stefan G. has produced experimental video releases, and the Open Screens and Rebel Media Showcase events. Stefan G. works with the Fairlight Computer Video Instrument (CVI) and a wide variety of other equipment.

Andrew D Lyons

Andrew D Lyons is an Australian artist who specialises in the creation of integrated 3D animation and 3D sound pieces which explore mental imagery resulting from music. More information regarding Andrew and his work can be found at

Philip Galanter

Philip Galanter is a visual artist and composer who uses generative art techniques to create abstract video works where both the image and sound emerge from a common generative process.  He also teaches a class called Foundations of Generative Art Systems at New York University, and has a particular interest in the connection between generative art and complexity science. His website ( includes samples of his work, materials from the class, other references, and papers describing his software system GA2.


Journal of the Omnimedia Artists: a quarterly electronic publication relating to the art of experimental sound and video performance as practiced at the end of the twentieth century

Bill Moritz


Moritz is one of the most knowledgeble historians of the field. He is the author of numerous articles, including Abstract Film and Color Music, and Experimental Animation. The Oskar Fischinger Archive. The Center for Visual Music hosts many details on Bill Moritz.

Larry Cuba


Larry Cuba has produced several pioneering visual music films, including the beautiful Calculated Movements. He is also a founder of the Iota Center, a web site and non-profit organization dedicated to visual music arts.

Fred Collopy

Fred Collopy is the author of Collopy's Imager, a Max program for music visualization. His Rhythmic Light site is an excellent source of materials and references to the literature of visual music.

J. Brandt-P.

Danish multimedia-artist. Working with music and images as a combined artform. music-performance with the danish performance group Kom De Bagfra. Sound & Light installations and music cd-roms. Using Max, SuperCollider and Bliss Paint.

Pavel Galko

This site on synaesthesia is in the Slovak language. It has some interesting materials on the color spectrum and sound associations.


This DJ and visualizer has an informative web site with animation and more.

Dennis Roth

Rhythm Vision

Photographer Dennis Roth describes a new way of seeing, a form of dancing with trees and the space around you as you walk.

Shohdy Nagib

I discovered video feedback the same time I was visiting Egyptian mawalid (sufi celebrations) with a VHS camera. This is not a coincidence for it was then, that I began "meddling in the affairs of Infinity". Check out the web page at MEDDLING IN THE AFFAIRS OF INFINITY.

Terry Whitt

Terry Whitt works with complex refractive and reflective materials in the domain of fascinating visual phenomena. A graduate of San Francisco Art Institute, BFA and MFA, Terry also does live computer graphics/video for music with groups such as Calobo, Tom Constantine and Bob Bralove (Dos Hermanos), Zero, Second Sight, and The Radiators. One of his specialties is his custom variations on fractals.

Ron Pellegrino

Ron Pellegrino has been working with electronic music and visuals since 1967, including work with synthesizers, oscillographics, interactive sound and light environments, film, video, laser projections and computer animation. Pellegrino's web site was filled with interesting articles on installations and performances he has done, and Tonecolor hopes he will make this material available again soon.

Steven Malinowski

Music Animation MachineSteven Malinowski has created the Music Animation Machine software to display a scrolling colored score representing the music stored and played back by the computer. He also has a excellent collection of software "artifacts" devoted to visualizing different aspects of music such as loudness, interval structure, rhythm, and voice organization. Other areas explored by Malinowski are the worlds of alternate tuning systems, where he has created a fascinating set of visual tools to display tuning relationships, and live performance tools, where one can control various aspects of a composition in real-time, while others are automated by the computer.

Sandy Cohen

Sandy Cohen teaches a music visualization course at San Francisco State University and has been working in this field for many years. He is also an archivist of the history of music visualization, and the author of Bindu, a Macintosh-based music visualization program.

Rich Young

Synesthetic Media Connections is another web site dedicated to visual music arts, with an extensive bibliography on synesthesia. Rich Young is a digital video expert and artist, and is the the host of the After Effects Portal.

Tom Ross

Tom Ross is now working in computer graphics, video and electronic music, after a long and fruitful background in ethnomusicology. He studied with North Indian vocalist Amir Khan, South Indian vocalist K.V. Naranayaswamy, and studied Balinese and Javanese gamelan and African music. His intricate musical compositions are filled with the filligree of ancient architectural patterns.

HPX Presents, Inc.

John Dix, Kurt Elzner, Terry Whitt, and friends are some of the best live video mix artists right now. Based in Seattle, but touring San Francisco and other major U.S. cities, they work with a large library of archival video footage, live computer animations, video feedback and a complex switcher setup. Some of the bands they have performed with are Second Sight, The Radiators, and Zero.

1201 First Ave., South, Suite #333
Seattle, WA 98134
tel 206-682-8689, fax 206-682-8898

DeadFlash Studios

DeadFlash Studios is a group of four artists pursuing enlightenment through a potent mix of music, video, and still imagery. A typical show could include digital images, animation, and stock footage mixed with video feedback and MIDI/sound input-driven MacGnosis. The primary emphasis is on spontaneity and exploration as we try to meld the mood of the audience and the music into a mystical experiment built upon the unique energy of the moment. We would welcome correspondence with any artists of similiar vision as at this time we are completely isolated.

Dan Mahoney

Dan Mahoney's Formations in Feedback is a ambient swirling, spiraling mastery of video feedback techniques. The accompanying music is an amorphous mutating blend of sonic textures.

Emile Tobenfeld

Tobenfeld's programming skills and music experience give him some interesting angles on video production. His custom filters for video processing take the viewer through all manner of warps and folds of visual experience. Some of his work is accompanied by his own music. Tobenfeld, aka Dr. T. is the founder of the music software company Dr. T's Music Software.

CJ Silverio

CJ Silverio composes and records ambient music and creates video and computer graphics with a wide range of software programs.


BillBill (Bill Gibson) works with video and Macintosh computers and shows works in the San Francisco Bay Area.

paul cummins

Paul works with interactive image sprites in Director and has performed in the San Francisco area.

collier hyams/mind leach studios


I'm the only such creature around here (blendo artist) and I enjoy getting the wide eyed slacked jaw responses after a piece. Thrills me to no end. I'm in Louisiana. There has been nothing in New Orleans or around that incorporates multiple senses for art/performance. Mostly, traditional jazz, smooth jazz, cajun, and psuedoalternativeswamprock. I enjoy what I'm doing and will continue pursuits even with the lack of a scene.

1421 washington st., natchitoches, la 71457
tel 318-352-2785, fax 318-357-4434

Rene Corriveau

Rene Corriveau is the author of Visual Music software, and the organizer of various gallery installations and theater performances.

David Biedny

David is a graphic artist extraordinaire. Founding member of IDIG, he tours nationally doing seminars on Photoshop and other Macintosh graphics programs, has authored several books on computer graphics, does special effects for film, and was on the team that produced the Haight-Ashbury in the Sixties CD-ROM.

The Raster Masters

The Raster Masters are a performing group with David Tristram, Creon Levit, and Ron Fisher on computer graphics, Maggie Hoppe providing video tape material and video switching, and Jonathan Nelson DJing music. They use the high-end Silicon Graphics computers and a rich set of custom software programs to do incredible live texture-mapping, audio and MIDI processing.


The X<>Pose software for Macintosh computers is developed by Arkaos of Belgium, and provides a high performance system for mapping QuickTime movies and PICT files and real-time effects onto a MIDI keyboard.

Brian Evans

Brian Evans is an artist/composer interested in electronic media and especially the use of computer technology as an expressive tool in music and the visual arts. His present work investigates the use of color as time-based compositional material and explores mathematics as an artistic medium.

Ross Urrere

Ross Urrere has been working at the Spiritual Rights Foundation on a variety of meditation videos using state of the art video technology and custom animation software.

David Brody

179 Grand St
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Painter David Brody has created a stunning computer animation to Beethoven string quartet music called Beethoven Machinery. The viewer follows the course of an octagonal prism through a wire-frame world of girders, changing direction at musical modulations and textural changes. Brody's complex layered paintings are inspired by his study of rock formations.

Dr. Paradise

Dr. Paradise is a video light show performer and performs in the San Francisco Bay Area. His web site has much to show and tell, and he often collaborates with Goa Gil:

David Gibson

David Gibson has created a software system for displaying and manipulating multi-track mixes using 3D graphics, a visual approach to mixing.

Gulture Enterprises

Frank Colin is a San Francisco Bay Area multimedia guru and producer who produces the Open Screens series of film/video/multimedia shows, with many creative examples of visual music. His web site has some interesting videos by Dave Berry and Stefan G.

Other Sites

Bright Colors Falsely Seen: Synaesthesia and the Search for Transcendental Knowledge - a book by Kevin Dann

Miscellaneous Notes

Thanks to Sandy Cohen for compiling a collection of materials regarding visualization of music, including pieces by Harry Smith, Lejf Marussen, David McCutchen, Stephen Malinowski, Len Lye, Norman McLaren, Oskar Fischinger, Jordan Belson, Vibeke Sorensen, and David Brody.

Perry Hoberman from New York has a MIDI controlled piece that controls a large number kitchen utensils. telepresence

Nuts and Bolts magazine has an ad for a MIDI controlled power matrix. Delauers magazine stand in Oakland has this magazine.

Published by Imaja.
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