Tempest by Manisha Pillai

COURSE: Art 365: Coding for Graphic Design

MEDIUM: Music Video, Data Visualization

This project is entirely implemented using Processing, a free graphical library and IDE using Java programming language by Casey Reas and Ben Fry catered to artists and designers. An external sound library by the Processing Foundation is used to include the audio and perform analysis to incorporate sound interaction. Audio is sourced from the free online library listed below. The visual elements are constructed via layered Bezier curves whose lengths are dependent on the amplitude of the sounds currently playing, with louder sounds like thunder invoking the background to change color.

Tempest is a data visualization of sound representing the beauty found in the destructive nature of storms, and by association, nature itself. The visual elements are indicative of both the behavior of storms themselves as well as the natural human response to them. The comfort and movement derived from the rhythmic drumming of rain is visualized via low steady vibrations in the curves reminiscent of rain splattering on the ground, while the thrill and danger invoked by the unexpected impact of thunder is represented by a sharp rise in the curves, reminiscent of a spike in heart rate, and a flashing background, similar to lightning. I settled for an achromatic color scheme to develop a stark contrast that sharpens the impact of the visual representation of thunder.

Audio: “Thunder Wind and Rain Sound Effect”
Free Sound Effects Site.
License: License: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0). http://www.freesoundslibrary.com