program 2001: science + fiction Media art exhibition Hidden Parameters Films by Miklós Erdély update 2.0 Contemporary German media art exhibition Science and Fiction in Media Art, International symposium Exhibition in the Barcsay Hall of the Hungarian Academy of
Fine Arts


I work with sounds determined by "colorful noises". One part of my project is showing the computer-music made by such sounds. The sounds inspired me to illustrate the image associations within these sounds. They appear in a 3D animation form. Since the inspiration was brought about by the concrete experience of the colorful music, I may call the pictures "background visuals" as the opposite of "background music".

Just like the optical blend we call white light, so white noise is "colorless" in an acoustic sense; it is nameless, has no characteristics, and cannot be detected beforehand on any frequencies, therefore, it can be played at any speed. The fact that there is no correlation between the samples of white noise taken at different intervals means that the sequence of sound is always "surprising". In other words, the succeeding sound cannot be predicted by the ones preceding it. When there is no broadcast on TV, the "snow" filling the screen is the visible illustration of the white noise that is brought about by electrons moving in an irregular pattern in their energy field. In a smaller intensity, white noise has a relaxing effect because there is no obvious connection between sounds. Machines producing white noise are sold to generate a relaxing background noise resembling the sound of the sea.
In contrast, the noise which is of a more correlative sound sequence is called brown noise. Brown noise is quite unpleasant to the human ear, because the development can be easily predicted due to the greater connection between sounds. It "remembers" something from the story.
When the produced spectrum of noise is even more linked, we step inside the boundaries of black noise. Such sequences are able to illustrate the rich diversity of natural and human induced catastrophes, as for example earthquakes and floods, market and train crashes. The greatly adjoined appearance of such catastrophes may serve as the basis for the old saying, "misfortunes never come alone".
None of these colorful noises bear any esthetic enjoyment. They are similar to the types of sound sequences which are either too predicable or too surprising to stimulate the brain's sample- interpreting functions for very long.
Black or brown noise does not leave anticipation unfulfilled in our conscious, while with white noise anticipation cannot even be developed. These extremes pose a need for a sample of sound that must find the mean between surprise and boredom. It must contain enough of both to awaken interest.
In between white and brown noise we find pink noise.
The most interesting characteristic of pink noise is that it is moderately correlative and therefore shows an average of relatively interesting structure at all time intervals. American physicists analyzed different music recordings and the music programs of various radio stations in order to examine their tendencies towards colorful noise. In their analysis of music from classical to rock, they discovered that the samples come close to pink noise at wide frequency intervals.
The synthesizer music compositions they chose according to the peak frequencies and the duration of sounds based on the statistics of pink noise-- later complemented by other sounds, mixed rhythms, and the note intervals they chose from the aforementioned statistical sources-- turned out to be appealing to the human ear in the same way as music generally is.
The musical and animation material created during the project would like to emphasize the fictional qualities of the scientific research on this subject up to date.

This project was made possible by the following people and institutions:
Jenô Keuler, composer, MTA Music Institute
the composer of the work "Locomotive of Life" used in this project
Katalin Kim, music historian, MTA Music Institute
Bálint Berkovits, 3D animation
C3 Foundation

Zene: Keuler Jenő
3D-animáció: Benkovits Bálint