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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.

Visual Recital Workshops

I've been receiving invitations from a growing number of venues for the Visual Recital concept, and i wanted to post some of the workshop proposals that i'm offering in conjunction with VR performances:

Visual Recital Workshops

A. Visual Recital Art Workshop - I've been invited to give a Visual Recital workshop/concert in Colorado this summer. The neat thing about this will be the involvement of about 70 kids - i will introduce some classical piano works, then direct the students in small teams to create artwork depicting their feelings and reactions to assigned sections of a particular piece. Their artwork will be digitally scanned, then incorporated into my Visual Recital framework and performed "live" for the kids and their families! Perhaps something like this could be explored with a group of music students, or even collaboratively between a team of music students and a team of art students? Lots and lots of interesting artistic possibilities here! I've been invited to present a similar workshop in Long Island in the fall.

B. Visual Recital How-To - How about a nuts and bolts workshop for the teachers themselves? I could give a short demo and then a technical overview of the various components involved in creating a Visual Recital presentation. This might be a wonderful time for discussion and brainstorming to think of transforming ways classical music can be presented both in the teaching studio and in public performance venues.

C. New Possibilities with Digital Instruments - I'm starting to work pretty extensively with Digital Pianos, thanks to a fantastic new program that's recently been upgraded called Pianoteq (developed in France). This program is actually a piano simulator, as opposed to a "sampler" that comprises the architecture of virtually every digital piano on the market. What makes this program so exciting is the fact that real, acoustic piano phenomena can be accurately simulated on a digital piano for the first time - everything from sympathetic vibrations, to fully continuous pedal effects, to the way the hammers interact with vibrating and non-vibrating strings, cross string vibration effects - the full parameters are pretty breathtaking, but the really amazing aspect is how expressive the program actually feels. This could become a powerful - and affordable - new tool for teachers looking for a way to offer serious instrument alternatives for students with more modest budgets. One possibility would be to incorporate a Visual Recital performance simultaneously demonstrating the Pianoteq program.

Here are some suggested lecture/workshop/performance applications of the above ideas:

1. Barebones technical presentation - video demonstration and Powerpoint-style slideshow with brief lecture and discussion on the Visual Recital concept and how it can be implemented in pedagogical settings. Approximate duration: 30-45 min.

2. Live performance Visual Recital demonstration (~12-15 min.) using front projector and small screen and existing piano at venue. Powerpoint-style slideshow with lecture and discussion on the Visual Recital concept and how it can be implemented in pedagogical and performance settings. Approximate duration: 45-60 min.

3. Live performance Visual Recital demonstration (~12-15 min.) with full technical setup, employing 7' x 9' rear projection screen and digital piano demonstrating cutting edge Piano simulation software (Pianoteq). Powerpoint-style slideshow with lecture and discussion on the Visual Recital concept and other supporting technologies for innovative pedagogical and performance practices. Approximate duration: 60 - 90 min.

Please note that running times are approximate - they can be extended or shortened as needed.



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Making Art Music Mobile: Visual Recital at a Public School

I just finished putting the video together for my performance of Poulenc's "The Story of Babar" for my sons' elementary school. I'd love to get feedback on the quality of the digital piano setup, using Pianoteq's Piano Simulator (running off of my old Toshiba M205 Tablet PC, my very first tablet pc!) Since i needed the M-Audio Fast Track Pro to interface the MIDI cables and JBL speakers, i was stuck using my Samson C-01U USB microphone for a mono recording of the show, but i'm still rather pleased at the overall quality of the digital piano performance.



The picture above links to a Quicktime version of the video. To see it as a Windows WMV file, click here.

As i've stated before, i'm hoping that with this digital setup that i'll be able to offer performance options in non-traditional venues. With piano simulator technologies like the one Pianoteq offers, digital music setups can feel so much more artistically satisfying!



www.hughsung.com href="http://hughsung.com/>http://hughsung.com href="http://hughsung.com/>www.hughsung.com/blog href="http://hughsung.com/>http://hughsung.com href="http://hughsung.com/blog>Hugh Sung href="http://hughsung.com/blog>www.hughsung.com href="http://hughsung.com/blog>http://hughsung.com href="http://hughsung.com/blog>www.hughsung.com/blog href="http://hughsung.com/blog>http://hughsung.com/blog

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A Fully Portable Setup for the Visual Recital

The Visual Recital is now fully portable, musically and visually speaking!

I've invested in some cutting edge digital piano technology which includes the following:

  • A Roland RD-700SX Digital Piano

  • A Muse Research Receptor, which houses high resolution sound sample libraries like the Ivory pianos from Synthogy

  • Pianoteq, a sophisticated piano simulator, which runs off of a third Tablet PC (one being for reading music, the other for triggering the visuals)

  • A pair of JBL Eon 15 G2 self-powered speakers


  • Here are some pictures from a recent show at an elementary school outreach event:

    A recent stage setup with rear projection screen and digital piano system

    Detail of the Digital Piano system setup with the Muse Receptor

    View of the Visual Recital for Elementary school children

    Question and Answer session with schoolchildren

    Video from the school outreach event to be posted soon!

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