Animusic’s ‘Resonant Chamber’

Having built a couple of instruments I was intrigued to encounter this rather amazing baroque-looking automaton. Like something out of Leonardo da Vinci’s imagination, this ‘Resonant Chamber’ is actually an extraordinary animation, so well realised and detailed that it comes across as truly plausible.

The company – Animusic LLC – produces computer animations with a focus on music. What makes this work so well is that they are not an animation set to music, but rather, they are perfectly rendered and articulated 3D models that are driven by the music.

Founded by Wayne Lytle, Animusic is based in New York. It was initially called Visual Music, changed to Animusic in 1995.

The music drives the animation, so each sound is associated with a plausible action. In addition the model is rendered with very lifelike wooden textures so it really looks as though it could work if built in real life. The animated models are created first, and are then programmed to follow what the music “tells them” to. The lighting is spectacular. The whole thing is brilliantly realised, and well worth checking out the rest of their animations.

Leornardo’s Viola Organista – or the importance of notebooks…

We all have ideas sometimes – whether strange, or beautiful, or unrealistic at the time it is worthwhile noting them down. Sharon keeps a journal, and a travel journal when travelling, I carry a notebook wherever I am – because you never know when the idea will strike. For us it might be a conversation, over a coffee, or getting a strange result on Google.

Leonardo da Vinci kept notebooks – jumping form one idea to the next. While he is known for his paintings and drawings, he is also known as a scientist – whether noting how the body works, or how people might fly like a bird, or swim underwater. He designed war machines, and textile machines, but above all he designed theatrical sets and special effects.

Hidden away in one of his notebooks were some sketches and notes for a musical instrument – part keyboard, part bowed instrument, the viola organista is like a bowed harpsichord – but sounds like a full string quartet. However, like many of his inventions, it was never built during Leonardo’s lifetime.

Enter, Polish instrument maker and pianist Slawomir Zubrzycki from Krakow. After 530 years hidden away in a notebook, the idea is brought to life when Zubrzycki decided to build the instrument to find out how it would have sounded. The result is both beautiful to look at, and beautiful to listen to. Let me know what you think in the comments 🙂

– And don’t forget to keep a journal or notebook for your ideas!