An Optical Poem

Produced by Oskar Fischinger for MGM

1938, 7 minutes

I really appreciated this piece for being an algorithmic visualization of music that was made completely by hand.  I’ve worked quite a bit in the past with trying to visualize music in interesting ways.  There’s a ton of music visualization options out there as well; its easy enough to search for it on youtube and get plenty of neon and glowy results.  What I find impressive is that this hand-drawn art is able to visualize a song far better and more elegantly than many popular, software produced visualizations.  I also really enjoy Oskar’s use of color, both in the palette that is created and how it relates to the song itself.  This piece seems like something that could definitely be reproduced with code today.