RGB Music RENGA is an algorithmic composition. It creates about 10 to 60 seconds of compositions from RGB (Red, Green, and Blue) pixel value of a series of photographs continuously. This project based on an application "RGB MusicLab" technology which was programmed by Kenji Kojima.
The program reads RGB value of pixels from the top left to the bottom right of an image horizontally. One pixel makes three notes of sounds, and the length of note is determined by high or low value of the pixel. RGB value 120 or 121 is the middle C, and RGB value 122 or 123 is added a half steps of the scale that is C#. RGB value 0,0,0 is no sounds.
RGB Music is not an impression of a painting or a photograph of a musical variation. It composes a score from an image directly.
Improvisation: a little more details about the composition
The music is not a recorded file. The music is an improvisation by the software. First of all the total number of pixels are reduced for duration control by mosaic. The basic conversion from RGB Value is a twelve-tone scale music, then it is filtered to another scale. Tempos, scales and instruments are changed in every each session. R, G and B values are assigned to an instrument from 123 different instruments. These musical elements, the number of the photograph and the performance date and time are described at the center bottom. The color score of mosaic score (chart of pixels) is shown at the right bottom.
The project title "RGB Music RENGA" was taken from a form of RENGA. RENGA is continuing short and collaborative poetry in Japan. A typical RENGA sequence is comprised of over 100 stanzas. The beginning of lines of a RENGA became HAIKU (a poem of seventeen syllables).
RGB Music RENGA: New York City Subway, Photographs Spring 2005 - Fall 2007
The project has two versions which are Full Screen Installation for an exhibition and Web Browser version. Both of them used same algorithm. Audience can concentrate visual and sound on Full Screen Installation version. Web Browser version can record a music. It is more intimate and interactive. You can see an actual work on the Web.
Full Screen Installation YouTube Video 6:29
Actual work is not a video nor recorded files.
Viability of Execution of Full Screen Installation 1. 2.
• The installation program is a MacOS X standalone application. You do not need other applications.
• It is exhibited by a projector or a large display and stereo speakers. Screen size should be over 250 cm x 400 cm (approx.100x160"). And You need an exhibition space.
• MacOS X computer with Internet connection. The application downloads image data.
• The total length of 126 compositions are about 70 minutes. It loops until you stop.
Web Browser version requires revWeb plugin
This is real time algorithmic compositions by the Web app.