So...it's been a while.
When I first got the idea to explore visuals and music, I thought it would be a fast dive into creating. I thought I would be able to take my initial idea, run with it and make it happen immediately. I thought that it would be far easier than it is turning out to be. And while I now know that I was being naive, and dare I say, a moron, after months of thinking and researching and failing and repeating this process many times over, I am heading down some sort of purposeful direction.
I can't remember the last time I started from scratch. Perhaps when I learned to play violin in my grade 8 strings class - I didn't know what I was doing, though I had a teacher to show me what to do and how to do it. Everything I've done in my life since middle school has been built upon previous knowledge, know how or networks of people, as anyone who has gone through school and on to a related career has done as well. That's the point of it all, isn't it?
This time, I found myself at the bottom. I did not know who could help me, what to teach myself nor what it was that I needed to learn. It took months of trying out software and programs and coding environments only to realize that none of them were quite what I was looking for. It also took months of me trying these options to realize that I didn't know what I was trying to create. Therefore, it was months of me feeling like a dork. Yes, a dork.
Finally, I came across a program called TouchDesigner by Derivative. It seemed to have everything I wanted - vast capabilities to link music and visuals that I could create myself. And as I started going through the online tutorials, reading TouchDesigner books and experimenting with the program, I realized that as frustrated as I thought I was when I was searching for a useable program, it was nowhere near how frustrated I was going to be as I taught myself how to use TouchDesigner. The learning curve isn't so much a curve, as a straight, upwards, vertical line.
That leads me to where I am now. Still learning. Still frustrated. But little by little, I am chipping away at all there is to learn about this incredible program.
Today, I created a movie using painted texture swabs that I painted myself then photographed. I then put them into a program that I created using TouchDesigner. I then set certain variables attached to the images of the paint to specific frequencies to create audio-reactive visuals. I improvised a piece on my violin, recorded it and watched how the visuals reacted to it.
It's a start. And at least it's a slight step forward than where I was yesterday.
You can find the full movie here.