A Hybrid Approach To Translation

While I have been exploring the possibility of an algorithmic method of translating music to the visual mode, I am not suggesting that there is any one best way to translate all music into image. Different works emphasize different facets and features of music. The ideal solution, in my opinion, would be a selection of compatible translation tools, whose relative importance to the end result is scalable. Different expressive devices might be differently allocated depending on the character of the work. Mid-level organization of the visual fields might be coordinated in a manner similar to the sorts of automated systems now in use to layout flow-charts and other visual presentations, in order to optimize the use of the available space based on the unique demands of a particular mix of approaches. Perhaps, in fact, the viewer might be able to adjust representational parameters themselves in order to experience the music from multiple perspectives.

This hybrid approach seems like it makes it harder for the brain to learn to experience the full content of the input (as per the previous section). A static set of translation processes with a standardized use of visual space would create a degree of reinforcement which a hybrid and shifting model does not. But perhaps learning specific associations between certain visual expressions and certain feature of auditory experience is irrelevant. Perhaps the different features we hear in music are just pragmatic adaptations to the idiosyncrasies of the our hearing system, and the musical aspects held in this feature or that, melody or rhythm or timbre or harmony, are just specific ways of expressing more general patterns and structures of flux and dynamics that make up this larger world of music. Whether this is true or not, I do not see how a single and static encoding process would be significantly more effective than any particular sort of musical notation, and there is no single system of musical notation sufficient to capture more than a very limited slice of the musical realm.

This sort of approach leaves room for giving more weight to musical features that are dominant in that particular work, and expending less space and bandwidth on those features that are relatively incidental. To do this well it is important to carefully identify what the core facets and features of the work are. On the other hand, if the weighting can be adjusted by the viewer, then this reduces the danger of a translation that completely obscures the works meaning or intent. But since the nature of the translation will guide and bias the viewer's experience, the translator would nonetheless need to strive for a weighting of features appropriate to the creator's apparent intentions.