Enter the world of MIDI art, illustrations made from music

Art is almost limitless in it’s potential, any piece of it fabricated from nothing. Now people are testing the boundaries of art by creating pictures with MIDI.

Blending two art forms is nothing new, visuals have long accompanied music for further effect from the theatre to MTV. A bunch of imaginative creatives have brought that fusion to the 21st century with MIDI art.

What’s MIDI art? Here’s a musical unicorn that should clear things up:

That’s Andrew Huang’s take on a picture made from MIDI notes. Whilst it may seem just like a basic form of pixel art that can be played musically the beauty of MIDI art is in creating a musical piece that actually works as well as creates a shape.

Andrew Huang’s piece was inspired by Savant who, as far as I know, is the pioneer of MIDI art. Savant’s pieces take the project even further with a sense of beauty behind the process. Savant’s Bird in the Rain piece is easily my favourite with a rising progression that says bird flight to me. The picture is also pretty good for a MIDI piece:

Savant’s collection is limited but wonderful and can all be found on his Facebook page. The inspiration for MIDI art goes back all the way to the Classical period. Beethoven modelled his 5th symphony on the sound of a Yellowhammer bird and Mozart was inspired by pigeons for the opening to one of his pieces. Savant just took that aural representation to another level.

Andrew Huang, the talented YouTube music man who created the unicorn video, has a great video on MIDI art and how he went about creating the unicorn in midi.

The world of MIDI art is an unfortunately scarce but infinitely wholesome source of entertainment. And of course there’s a Shrek MIDI art piece that sounds like All Star by Smash Mouth.

Writing about music, listening to music, and occasionally playing music.

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    I’m a senior at Kenyon College and I am currently working on a documentary project about MIDI art. I would love to speak with you about the subject. Please contact me if you are interested!

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