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Home of the Visual Recital Concept


The Visual Recital is an exciting new approach to integrating live art music with dynamic imagery, animations, and synchronized video clips, where the performing musician directly controls the digitized visualizations as an enhancement of the musical performance. With the visuals serving as a powerful narrative lattice, art music becomes immediately accessible to audiences young and old who may have never experienced a live recital setting.

Visual Pianist Hugh Sung has developed a system that integrates cutting-edge visualizations with a simple foot-switch trigger that enables the Art Musician to perfectly synchronize visual effects that illustrate the narrative sweep and structure of each musical composition

NEW! Watch a sample from a performance at the Darlington Arts Center featuring selections from Charles B. Griffin's "Vernacular Dances", with visuals projected onto a 9' x 7' pvc frame rear projection screen:

Watch a sample clip from "Vernacular Dance No. 1" by Charles B. Griffin:

Watch a sample clip from "Watery Abstractions" by John Carollo:


VisualRecital.com is a subsite of HughSung.com.

Chopin Project: To-Do List

Here is a list of artwork that we will need to create according to the storyboard outline proposed by the Neptune High School art students:

Scene 1: Introduction/Once Upon a Time

  • 3 sunrise scenes at a lake with trees
    - one with landscape in darkness
    - one with sun just emerging
    - last one with sun rising and light filling scene


  • Scene 2: The Main Theme

  • Picture of old man walking by the lake


  • Scene 3: An exciting secret revealed

  • Wind blows, revealing scarf on old man representing memories of lost love


  • Scene 4: Impending Danger

  • Pictures of approaching storm scene
    - clouds darkening
    - trees swaying
    - leaves flying
    - waves forming at lake
    - lightning in skies


  • Scene 5: A distant memory

  • Pictures of old man in youth and lake from long ago
    - smaller trees
    - perhaps more people walking around?


  • Scene 6: Love Theme

  • Pictures representing love and life, such as
    - cherry blossoms
    - 2 swans swimming together in lake
    - young woman wearing old man's scarf?


  • Scene 7: Main Theme returns

  • Autumn scene at lake, with leaves on trees turning colors?
    - Picture of the old man in middle age with scarf - looks rich and powerful?


  • Scene 8: A Grand Dance

  • Pictures of a town center
    - perhaps with a fountain?
    - buildings surrounding town square similar in composition to how trees surround lake?


  • Scene 9: A flurry of excitement

  • Pictures of town filled with busy people, activities


  • Scene 10: Distant Memory joins the Love Theme

  • Party scene?
    - Man meets woman wearing his scarf
    - pictures of man and woman dancing together
    - closing scene with man left alone with scarf in his hands


  • Scene 11: The Main Theme returns, in greater danger than before

  • Winter scene at lake with old bare trees, empty skies, and old man in advanced age


  • Scene 12: A ferocious battle

  • Winter storm scenes by lake
    - snowstorm?
    - old man in coat and scarf struggling against wind?


  • Scene 13: A tragic ending

  • Pictures of scarf floating on lake
    - night scene at lake with moon?


  • Once again, here is the flash player for the musical references:

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    The Chopin Project

    The Chopin Project is a Visual Recital workshop collaboration with the students at Neptune High School to explore the Ballade No. 1 in G minor, Op. 23 by Frédéric Chopin.   We'll be using this website as a project blog to share notes on the development of the storyboard and visualizations created for this piece.  Many thanks to Superintendent Dr. David Mooij, Principal Richard Allen, Director of Curriculum, Assessment and Instruction Edward Dever, supervisors Nancy Moore-Fuss (Arts and Music) and Claudia Mooij (Special Education), Department Chair Brian Dougherty, Director of Instrumental Music Raymond A. Kelly, and Art Teacher Michelle Bowers for helping to bring teachers and students together!

    200px-Eugène_Ferdinand_Victor_Delacroix_043 We started today's workshop with a brief introduction to Polish-born composer Frédéric Chopin (1810 - 1849):

    - he lived in Paris and enjoyed a career as a piano teacher and composer

    - he composed the Ballade No. 1 in G minor when he was 25 years old

    - his music is considered to be part of the Romantic period in Classical Music

    We talked about how all music tells a story, and how we would be using Chopin's music as the basic script for the visualizations that we would be creating.

    I then played through the work in its entirety, simultaneously projecting descriptive text of the following sections:

     

    1.  Introduction - Once upon a time...

    2.  The Main Theme

    3.  An exciting secret revealed

    4.  Impending Danger

    5.  A distant memory

    6.  Love Theme

    7.  The Main Theme returns

    8.  A Grand Dance

    9.  A flurry of excitement

    10.  The distant memory joins the Love Theme

    11.  The Main Theme returns, in greater danger than before

    12.  A ferocious battle

    13.  A tragic ending

    You can listen to each of the above sections with the flash MP3 player below:


    Get your own Flash MP3 Player

    We then brainstormed on possible story and character ideas for each section.  We also selected some landscapes that had been created by an earlier art class, matching them with some of the opening sections of the music as follows:
     
    1.  Introduction - Once upon a time...  (listen to mp3 here)
    Expressive ideas:
    • impending troubles
    • simple beginning

    IMG_0064 2.  The Main Theme (listen to mp3 here)

    Expressive ideas:
    • A lonely stroll
    • feelings of bewilderment
    • a Hungarian flavor?

     

     

     

    IMG_0071 3.  An exciting secret revealed (listen to mp3 here)

    Expressive ideas:

    • despair

     

     

     

     

    IMG_0068 4.  Impending Danger (listen to mp3 here)

    Expressive ideas:

    • heart racing
    • chase scene

     

     

     

     

    IMG_0069 5.  A distant memory (listen to mp3 here)

    Expressive ideas:

    • flashback memory
    • feeling reminiscent
    • a horizon scene

     

     

     

    IMG_0070 6.  Love Theme (listen to mp3 here)

    Expressive ideas:

    • Cherry blossoms?  red/white/yellow colors

     

     

     

     

    7.  The Main Theme returns (listen to mp3 here)

    Expressive ideas:

    • heart beats
    • creepy
    • bewildered

    8.  A Grand Dance (listen to mp3 here)

    Expressive ideas:

    • Happy
    • overwhelmed?

    9.  A flurry of excitement (listen to mp3 here)

    Expressive ideas:

    • delirious
    • big mood swings - rage?

    10.  The distant memory joins the Love Theme (listen to mp3 here)

    Expressive ideas:

    • memory - realization
    • anticipation
    • intense (love theme)

    11.  The Main Theme returns, in greater danger than before (listen to mp3 here)

    12.  A ferocious battle (listen to mp3 here)

    13.  A tragic ending (listen to mp3 here)

     

    After some more brainstorming, the class came up with some amazing storyboard concepts as follows:

    • create the setting of a man by a lake - the man represents the main theme, and the lake could represent the old man's life
    • each time the main theme returns, the man gets older (starts with him as a young child)
    • the lake in turn also ages as the piece progresses - trees get bigger, seasons pass - various seasons can represent shifting moods for different sections (springtime, blooming flowers, storms blowing leaves off of trees, bare branches, water levels changing from full to muddy, etc.)
    • Love themes can be represented by swans, cherry blossoms, sunsets & sunrises (and other scenery changes)
    • objects representing love, loss, such as a stopwatch?  a top hat?
    • Shifting realities - in head? memory? 
    • Tragic ending - represented by the object of love left alone on the scene - hat on the beach?  floating in the water?
    • photographs of nearby lake to use either as scenery or as artwork templates - pictures of sunrises/sunsets would be amazing!

    Participating students will be invited to comment and contribute artwork, photos, sketches and story ideas through this blog.  Additional blog articles highlighting specific sections will be created as needed.



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