8:27 p.m. May 2, 2015 | Updated, 1:27 p.m. | May 7, 2015, San Diego Union Tribune|
Imagine if you could hear a painting. Not in your mind, but physically hear the sounds a painting might make. Composer Lei Liang is working on that, with a team of collaborators at UC San Diego.
Liang, who was one of the three finalists for the 2015 Pulitzer Prize in music (for “Xiaoxiang,” a concerto for alto saxophone and orchestra), is composer-in-residence at UC San Diego’s CALIT2 (California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology).
Saturday, as part of ArtPower’s Filmatic Festival at UC San Diego, Liang reprised “Hearing Landscapes,” a cutting-edge, multimedia presentation that he premiered at the Qualcomm Institute in April.
The project also involves visual explorer Falko Kuester, principal collaborator and audio software developer Zachary Seldess, cultural heritage engineer Samantha Stout, and software and system developers Greg Surges, Chris McFarland and Eric Hamdan. It aims to take the ink brush paintings of 20th century Chinese artist Huang Binhong, extract detailed information from the paintings through advanced scanning techniques, and translate that “big data” into music.