Here are some examples of pictures played through p2s...Pictures with high contrast can make interesting sounds. Thie picture below contains plenty of contrast, and is divided into just 4 columns and 24 rows. Each block of color is then played with a C major scale. Watch out for very high notes when the white areas are played, and low notes for the dark areas.
Some pictures make tunes with a rather predictable 'shape'. For example, the picture below is bright all down the left hand side, so each row begins with high notes and then descends. Hear it played with three different musical scales. All three tunes have the same 'shape' but a totally different sound...
|Photo played with C major scale|
Photo played with chromatic scale
Photo played with C harmonic minor scale
Rainbows make music that you can easily relate to the original picture. Below are three different rainbows. Here, p2s is using stereo to make the colors play 'as they appear' - so blue is in the left ear, green in the middle, and red on the right. Use headphones, or a good stereo system for full effect!
|Rainbow played with C major scale in wide stereo|
|Rainbow played with Cmajor scale in wide stereo|
|Artificial 'perfect' rainbow played with C harmonic minor scale - rather repetetive!|
Here is a picture of one of my all-time favourite jazz guitarists - Louis Stewart. The photo has been divided into a 4x48 grid and played with some notes from a blues scale at high speed.This shows a fascinating property of nearly all photos: each line varies only slightly from the lines immediately above and below it. So the music from this photo appears to be 'repeating patterns' of 4 notes where each 4-note group varies only slightly from the group before. Most musicians would hear this music as being played in 4/4 time!
The tune starts very 'dark' with repeating low notes, and then gradually gets more animated as Louis begins to appear...
Black-and-white photos are interesting because the red, green and blue values are all equal in each pixel. So if each color is mapped to the same note range, it will make a tune with just one note sounding at a time (actually 3 identical notes are sounding). However, it gives us the chance also to try out fixed harmonies, e.g. making a fixed musical interval between red, green and blue.
This black and white photo of my daughter is played in three different ways, to give completely different effects. (Note to computer imaging geeks: any resemblance of my daughter to Lena is purely coincidental!!)
There is a vanishingly small possibility that a photograph will accidentally produce a well known tune!! But rather than wait for that to happen, I deliberately engineered a picture that would play back a very well known tune - Giant Steps by jazz saxophonist John Coltrane.
There have been many visualizations created for this tune before (see the links page) so here I offer my humble contribution. There are three versions below, each played with a MIDI sax, piano, and bass. The first is monochrome, so all instruments play the same note. In the second, the bass plays some different notes, so the image gains some color. In the third, the piano also harmonizes the melody so even more color appears in the image.
The p2s program cannot currently be run in 'reverse' to generate a picture from a sound! So I had to 'paint' the images the hard way. I doubt it will catch on as a new method of musical notation! However, if anyone sends me a nicer harmony for Giant Steps, I'll paint it into a picture and post it here!
Finally, here are some longer pieces generated from a photograph taken by a friend. The photo contains lots of color and contrast, so provides an interesting subject for p2s. With practice you may be able to 'hear' each line of the photo, because it is often very similar to the last line that was played. Musicians, especially, will probably be able to look at the averaged photograph on the right and read the photo as it is played.
Put on headphones, sit back, and enjoy :-)