Animusic Videos

I first saw some of the music videos produced by Animusic Studios on PBS as short filler pieces to get to the top of the hour. They would immediately put you into a fantastical world populated by other worldly Rube Goldberg-esque musical instruments (see You would never see anyone actually play the instruments. The instruments themselves would play the instruments. I would describe the music as a kind of techno prog-rock and it works well as the soundtrack for these strange worlds.

Animusic is the creation, programmer/composer Wayne Lytle who developed the proprietary, custom-written software, called Animusic Studio, that created these videos. The software takes the MIDI file of the music and generates the animation automatically so that the animated image of the instrument is correlated to the music on a a note by note level instead of appearing to be responding to the music as a result of some non-real time process.
The first video, “Pipe Dreams” features a world where various string and percussion instruments are struck by balls fired from pipe cannons. This video was actually used in a Internet hoax in 2006 when someone sent around an email about a “fantastic machine” (that was usually the subject line) and includes an attachment of the Pipe Dreams video. Claiming to be “built as a collaborative effort between The Robert M. Trammell Music Conservatory and the Sharon Wick School of Engineering at the University of Iowa. Amazingly, 97% of the machines components came from John Deere Industries and Irrigation Equipment of Bancroft Iowa, yes farm equipment!” The University of Iowa purportedly had to take lots of phone calls – and even a few personal visits – from people wanting to see the machine in person.

“Pipe Dream” –


The second video features a nine neck guitar being played by delicate robotic hands that resemble claws.

“Resonant Chamber” –


These videos and many more are available on DVD. Go to to order.

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Posted in Music Appreciation and Analysis

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