Visual Music Resources

Useful links to organisations, books, articles, essays and resources useful for the study of visual music. Please contact the blog author if you have any suggestions for this page, any suggestions are appreciated. 

Center for Visual Music (CVM)

Center for Visual Music Website

The major organisation for the promotion, preservation and support of visual music as both a contemporary art practice and its historical origins is the Center for Visual Music (CVM), based in Los Angeles, California, US.
"The Center for Visual Music is a nonprofit film archive dedicated to visual music, experimental animation and abstract media.
CVM is commited to preservation, curation, education, scholarship, and dissemination of the film, performances and other media of this tradition, together with related historical documentation and artwork."
Visit the Center for Visual Music (CVM) website for extensive libraries, and archives in relation to the field.

Visual music archive on Patreon

A recent development in the access to the archives of the Center for Visual Music, is the availability of some of their archive through Patreon. There are various membership options, from fan to researcher.
For more information visit:

The director of CVM, Cindy Keefer works extensively to preserve historical films, disseminate major works and oversees an extensive library and archive in the field.  Keefer also curates contemporary visual music and has an extensive list of research publications in the field.

Rhythmic Light

Rhythmic Light website - Visual Music Timeline Page

Rhythmic Light is an extensive web resource and collection on visual music by Fred Collopy.  It was established in 1998. It has recently had a major design overhaul and has super easy to interactive access to the collection online.  However the older version of the collection is still available. The purpose of the website is to collect research on visual music. In Collopy's own words, he states:

"I established Rhythmic Light as a location for collecting together research on visual music. My goals at that time were to support the development of Imager—a program for playing with abstract visuals in the ways that musicians play with abstract sounds—and to collect together and organize as much related information as I was able about others who shared in similar interests." [source:]

Instrument designer and researcher

As Collopy is also an instrument designer and his software imager is one of the most significant contributions to visual music in late twentieth century and early twenty first century, this provides him with an approach and understanding that makes for insightful aspects of the visual that he focuses on in his collection.  In the correspondences section of his website, he has brought together both useful categories of possible correspondences to be explored between visuals and music and under which he then presents relevant research and historical examples related to the particular correspondences he highlights.

Visual music timeline

Collopy has built an interactive timeline of the history that is of relevance to visual music right up to the present day.  A great resource for those interested in getting to know a visual music history.

Website archive 1998-2018 of RhythmicLight site:

F. Collopy and R. M. Fuhrer, “A Visual Programming Language for Expressing Visual Rhythms,” Journal of Visual Programming Languages, 12 (2001), 283-297.
F. Collopy, “Color Form and Motion: Dimensions of a Musical Art of Light,” Leonardo, 33 (2000), 355-360.
F. Collopy, R. M. Fuhrer and D. Jameson, “Visual Music in a Visual Programming Language,” IEEE Symposium on Visual Languages, (1999), 111-118.

Visual Music Archive

The visual music archive website [link]

The founder and executive director of the Visual Music Archive website, Prof. Dr. Heilke Sperling has  been gathering an online collection of works, artists, and research for many years.  It has a rich interface to showcase the content and a very rich content.  This is a place to spend some time and a great place to come across new work.  

Visual Music Marathon - 2007/2009

Visual Music Marathon - Website Home Page Frame

Dennis H. Miller, a composer, artist and visual music artist, and  Professor Emiritus at North Eastern University, Boston organised and curated a major contemporary visual music event in 2007, titled the 'Visual Music Marathon'. He put out an international call for works and as a result of this call as well as inviting curations of historical works, Miller presented a non-stop 12 hour marathon of visual music works in North Eastern University, Boston, US.
Link to archive page on the exhibition at ACM Siggraph:
Dennis H. Miller: 2007 Visual Music Marathon

The visual music marathon event was then repeated in 2009 in the School of Visual Arts, in the Visual Arts Theatre, 333 West 23rd Street, New York City.  It consisted of largely the same screening program as was held in Boston in April 2007, but with some variations.

Miller announced the festival in the programme catalogue that accompanied both events.
From the Artistic DirectorWelcome to the 2009 screening of the Visual Music Marathon! The Marathon received over 300 works from 34 countries for its open call, and we are excited to be able to present the very best of those today. We are also screening works chosen by our two principal guest curators, Bruce Wands of the School of Visual Arts and New York Digital Salon, and Larry Cuba of the iotaCenter, plus several historic works on 16mm film. These will be complemented by other pieces from a number of invited guest artists and by live video performances by Chiaki Watanabe with David Galbraith and Marjan Moghaddam with Adam Caine.
The works on the Marathon represent a vast range of approaches to “visual music,” from pieces in which the images and music are directly tied by the sharing of parameters, to those in which the images “interpret” the music (or vice versa), to works where the visuals are edited in tight synchrony with cues in the music. [source: Visual Music Marathon Programme Booklet (Wayback Machine)]
Front cover of the Visual Music Marathon Booklet

I attended this event in both locations and it was a truly phenomenal experience to sit through 12 hours non-stop of visual music works.  The works shown were so beautiful.  Many artists were present.  Miller also invited me to write an introductory essay on visual music for the program booklet that accompanied the event.
Link to visual music essay (without illustrations) (Wayback Machine)

A particularly wonderful opening speech was given by Cecille Starr (1921-2014) at the New York event. One thing that stayed with me from her speech was her mentioning that Hans Richter and his contemporaries had no real name for what they were doing, they just wanted to experiment with film. I think this is still the case in the spirt of arts practices that can be described as a visual music. It is that spirit of experimentation and exploration of the mediums one has to work with in one's own time. One of the filmmakers whose work was in the festival, Stephanie Maxwell, was actually staying with Cecille for the duration of the festival, Stephanie's work is quite wonderful. Alas, the website that documented the event is no longer available. There are versions of the website on the Internet Archive Way Back When website of which one of the snapshots are linked below.

Archive of website: (2009/2007)
Archive of Visual Music Marathon Schedule:

Other Useful Visual Music Resources

I am in the process of updating the rest of the section of this page.  It has not been updated for a few years (13/4/2020).  Some of the links are broken at present.

Audiovisual Resources

Resources of Relevance and Interest

Blogs websites by author of visual music blog

Some useful links to research being carried out in the visual music and audio visual art/ media fields. Please contact Maura if you have links to your research that could be linked to here for those interested in visual music research. Email:

Posts with tag Article in this Visual Music Blog

Posts with tag Visual Music History

Useful books

Audiovisuology: See this Sound (2010) - publisher link
See This Sound: Promises of Sound and Vision (2009) - Amazon Link
Audio.Visual - On Visual Music and Related Media (2009) - publisher link
Media Art Histories (2007) -
Visual Music (2005) - Amazon link
Computer Music Journal: Visual Music (2005) -
Optical Poetry (2004) -

Sonic Graphics (2002) -
Audio-vision: Sound on Screen (1994) -
The Film Work of Norman McLaren - publisher link

Just starting this list, it is by no means exhaustive and I will be adding to this asap
If you have any suggestions please do get in contact


Alba G. Corral
Aaron F. Ross
Andrew Hill
Antonio Brech
Baerbel Neubauer
Betsy Kopmar
Bret Battey
Brian Evans
Brian O'Reilly
Bonnie Mitchell
Chiaki Watanabe
Chris Cassady
Christina McPhee
Claudia Rohrmoser
Dennis H. Miller
Diego Garro
Edgar Barroso 
George O.Stadnik
Harvey Goldman
Ishu Patel
Jack Ox
Jane Cassidy
Jaroslaw Kapuscinski
Jean Detheux
Jim Ellis
Joe Hyde
Jon Behrens
Joost Rekveld
Jaroslaw Kapuscinski
Kurt Laurenz Theinert
Larry Cuba
Maura McDonnell
Max Hattler
Michael Scroggins
Michael Theodore
Neil O'Connor
Nick Cope
Oerd van Cuikjlenborg
Paul O' Donoghue
Paul Prudence
Pierre Hébert
Robert Seidal
Rosa Menkman
Ryoichi Kurokawa
Scott Draves
Scott Snibbe
Stephanie Maxwell
Steven Woloshen
Maurice Wright
Tony Brooks
Vibeke Sorenson
Vishal Shah

Groups, Collectives and Collaborative teams


Curators, Archives, Organisations, Advocacy and Preservation

Center for Visual Music (CVM)

Historical Filmmakers and Inventors

Walther Ruttmann
Viking Eggeling
Hans Richter
Oskar Fischinger
Charles Dockum
Thomas Wilfred
Norman McLaren
Len Lye
John Whitney
James Whitney
Hy Hirsh
Jules Engel
Robert Breer
Jordan Belson
Mary Ellen Bute


Punto Y Rya Festival – The Festival of the Dot and the Line


Camp International Festival for Visual Music

Visual Music Award