Imagine being able to upload any image from flickr, or even draw your own image, and then compose music from that image's colours. Now you can, with our Musical Images app for the web – which is similar to our Musical Images iPhone app, also developed by Lab of Misfits. Indeed, Musical Images lets you turn any image into sound. Whether that sound is musical is really up to you and your creativity.
The intrigue of this app is that it gives you the ability to interact with images in a different way, to think about images not as representations of the visual world but as abstract information where new relationships are there to be discovered and created.
By taking images of the world or creating your own images and then 'playing' with them in sound, the structures in the images – a person's face, a landscape, or even a pattern of geometrical shapes – lose their historical meaning, and instead become both a musical instrument and score. In doing this, the person playing with the programme actually takes on the role of observing themselves creating new and meaningful relationships that previously didn't exist… which we call 'seeing yourself see'.
The Musical Images web app was developed in collaboration with Anthony Steed,Professor in the Virtual Environments and Computer Graphics at UCL.
To download the Musical Images iPhone app, click here
To read about our other iPhone apps, click here
To create your own image, or to upload an image from Flickr, open one of the Lab of Misfits examples below and click on Image Edit. If in Draw Image mode, you can clear the screen and use the different coloured dots to draw your own image. The lightness of each pixel corresponds to a different pitch.
Once Done, you can add three different voices to your image, and in Settings you can alter the speed, key and instruments used, as well as the colour mode; you can also give your new image a Title, Author and Keyword. To save the image, click Save to the Server.
Examples by Lab of Misfits