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  The language of visual music: An historical re-evaluation of the visual music canon in search of the origins of correlations between sound and vision.


   Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design

  Dr Shaleph O'Neill  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The language of visual music: An historical re-evaluation of the visual music canon in search of the origins of correlations between sound and vision.

• What can we learn by an exhaustive investigation into the history and evolution of visual music in terms of grounding our understanding within the historical animated films, experiments and examples of the pioneers that made them?

• How exhaustive can we be in our investigation given the difficulty of accessing film archives, alongside the positive advent of streaming media such as YouTube?

• What challenges did the pioneers face?

• How did they overcome them?

• What relationships between sound and vision did they establish?

• Are these correlations robust or merely arbitrary?

• Do they occur across the work of different creators, are there commonalities?

• If there are commonalities, can we identify and categorize them in relation to examples?

• Is such thing as a semiotics of visual music a helpful way to think about this?

• What is the legacy of this canon of work?

• How has it informed the work of those currently working in this field?

• Has it moved on considerably or are there still significant issues that are unresolved. E.g. the relationship between colour and pitch, the arbitrary nature visualisation aesthetics, the changing nature of music reference tuning?

• Where do the communities of practice exist around the concept of sound visualisation and who are the current drivers within this field?

This PhD project aims to conduct an exhaustive survey of the visual music canon to address some of these questions. Some of them have been addressed multiple times already resulting in contention and disagreement within the field, the reasons for which need to be explored. Others have not been addressed at all. All of them are fundamental to establishing a clear understanding of what constitutes ‘language’ in the epistemological space of music/sound visualisation.

For informal enquiries about the project, contact  Shaleph O'Neill, 

For general enquiries about the University of Dundee, contact

Our research community thrives on the diversity of students and staff which helps to make the University of Dundee a UK university of choice for postgraduate research. We welcome applications from all talented individuals and are committed to widening access to those who have the ability and potential to benefit from higher education.

QUALIFICATIONS

Applicants must have obtained, or expect to obtain, a UK honours degree at 2.1 or above (or equivalent for non-UK qualifications), and/or a Masters degree in a relevant discipline. For international qualifications, please see equivalent entry requirements here: www.dundee.ac.uk/study/international/country/.

English language requirement: IELTS (Academic) overall score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.5 in reading and writing, and 6.0 in speaking and listening). The University of Dundee accepts a variety of equivalent qualifications and alternative ways to demonstrate language proficiency; please see full details of the University’s English language requirements here: www.dundee.ac.uk/guides/english-language-requirements.

 

APPLICATION PROCESS

Step 1: Email Dr Shaleph O’Neill, to (1) send a copy of your CV and (2) discuss your potential application and any practicalities (e.g. suitable start date).

Step 2: After discussion with Dr O’Neill, formal applications can be made via our direct application system. When applying, please follow the instructions below:

Candidates must apply for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in Art & Design (3 year) using our direct application system: Apply for a PhD in Art and Design.

Please select the study mode (full-time/part-time) and start date agreed with the lead supervisor.

In the Research Proposal section, please:

-         Enter the lead supervisor’s name in the ‘proposed supervisor’ box

-         Enter the project title listed at the top of this page in the ‘proposed project title’ box

In the ‘personal statement’ section, please outline your suitability for the project selected.

Communication & Media Studies (7) Creative Arts & Design (9)

Funding Notes

While no institutional funding is available for this project, I am more than happy to help prospective students with applications to research councils, funding bodies and doctoral training partnerships (DTPs) as part of their application process. The Scottish Graduate School for Arts and Humanities (SGSAH) is the appropriate DTP for my institution. View Website

References

Towards a Semiotics of Visual Music
O'Neill, S., 27 Mar 2023, (E-pub ahead of print) The Intermediality of Contemporary Visual Arts [Working Title]. López-Varela Azcárate, A. (ed.). Intech
Live Visuals; History, Theory, Practice, eds. Steve Gibson, Stefan Arisona, Donna Leishman and Atau Tanaka, (London and New York, Routledge, 2023).
Em, D. and Em, M., (1991) An Afternoon with John Whitney, An EM2 Production, Funded by SIGGRAPH Special Projects Committee.
Maura McDonell, “Inventing Instruments: Colour-Tone Correspondence to Colour-Music Performance;” in Live Visuals; History, Theory, Practice, eds. Steve Gibson, Stefan Arisona, Donna Leishman and Atau Tanaka, (London and New York, Routledge, 2023).
Young, Thomas (1804). "The Bakerian lecture. Experiments and calculation relative to physical optics". Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. 94: 1–16. doi:10.1098/rstl.1804.0001. S2CID 110408369.
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Shao, M., Liang, F., Yu, H. et al. Angular engineering strategy of an additional periodic phase for widely tunable phase-matched deep-ultraviolet second harmonic generation. Light Sci Appl 11, 31 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41377-022-00715-w
Saussure, Ferdinand de. Course in general linguistics. Eds. Charles Bally & Albert Sechehaye. Trans. Wade Baskin, subsequently edited by Perry Meisel & Haun Saussy. NY: Columbia University Press, 2011.
Lye, L., (1935), “Kaleidopscope”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3ZXUTL3iZs, (accessed 28/02/2023).
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Bute, M. E., Nemeth, T. J., Rutherford, B., “Parabola” (1937), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DUwiVelk-Oc&t=163s, (accessed 28/02/2023).
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Bute, M., E., (1940), “Tarantella”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=czDsy8BYP1M, (accessed 28/02/2023).
Peters, D., Batchelor, L., (1951), “Pen Point Percussion: An Introduction to the Hand-drawn Sounds of Norman McLaren”, The National Film Board of Canada, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0vgZv_JWfM, (accessed 28/02/2023).
McLaren, N., (1940) “Dots”, The National Film Board of Canada, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKikRLzlrwk, (accessed 28/02/2023).
McLaren, N., Lambert, E., (1960) “Lines Horizontal”, The National Film Board of Canada, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TDFWuvhqHo4, (accessed 28/02/2023).
McLaren, N., “Synchromy”, (1971), The National Film Board of Canada, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_UA40sL06sU, (accessed 28/02/2023).
Whitney, J. & Whitney, J., (1943), “Five Film Exercises”, Film 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuZbgM8yxtY&t=74s, (accessed 28/02/2023).
Whitney, J. & Whitney, J., (1943), “Five Film Exercises”, Films 2-3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdCjwS1OxBU, (accessed 28/02/2023).
Whitney, J. & Whitney, J., (1943), “Five Film Exercises”, Film 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTEABxz1e_k, (accessed 28/02/2023).
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