New work on You Tube and Flickr

From: Emile Tobenfeld (a.k.a Dr. T) (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Oct 26 2009 - 15:40:44 PDT

Hi folks,

I posted a new video titled "Barely Branching on You Tube at

Barely Branching is a visual music piece based on images of bare
trees, with music by my frequent collaborator, Mike Marino.

I posted a new photo essay titled "Instant Cubism" on Flickr at

Instant Cubism is a sequence of still images treated to somewhat
resemble cubist paintings.


More notes on the work below:

Barely Branching is a visual music piece based on images of bare
trees. I've long been fascinated with the abstract patterns seen in
bare trees, and had generated a lot of video material by processing,
animating and combining still and video images of these patterns.

I asked composer Mike Marando to generate a short soundtrack based on
these images, without showing him the specific images and sequences I
was working with. After a couple of iterations, he came up with the
ambient soundtrack used in the piece. Here are his words about the

Dr. T sent me an email that he was interested in making a piece based
on the theme of "Bare Trees." When I read this, I immediately thought
of the guitar as a tree with strings on it and wondered what the
instrument would sound like with "wind" blowing past the strings? I
set up an acoustic-electric guitar on a stand and began
experimenting. A regular fan blowing across the strings did not
generate much signal, so I put in earplugs and dragged out a Shop
Vac. After playing around a bit, I found the best results were to
blow the Shop Vac's exhaust across the fretboard from the high string
to the low string at different locations along the neck. I tried
acoustic-electric and electric guitars tuned in standard tuning and
in Rober Fripp's revised standard tuning of CGDAEG. I also did the
same for a bass in standard tuning and in CGDG tuning.

I made several passes with the instruments and mixed them in a
variety of ways. After some discussion with Dr. T, I had the idea of
processing the signal through pitch-shifters, delays, and chorus. So
I recorded three versions of one of the original tracks, each version
with different treatments. Some of the pitch-shifting was in
even-tempered intervals. Other pitch-shifting was in a well-tempered
system that Terry Riley used on a piano to record, "The Harp of the
New Albion." I selected the best parts of the three tracks and mixed
them for Dr. T.

The images in Instant Cubism were all processed by a Photoshop filter
called Cutout. This filter can take a photograph and convert it to an
image that resembles a cubist painting. The effect can be accentuated
by use of other Photoshop filters before or after applying the cutout.

I've become fascinated by this technique over the last couple of
years. This photo-essay contains 64 photographs of a wide variety of
subjects that I've modified with this technique.

Notes for Photoshop artists: After I apply cutout to the image, I
usually apply Find Edges, and then Fade the effect setting mode to
Multiply. (I use a Photoshop action that allows me to apply these
steps with a single keystroke.) This accentuates the lines that
separate the solid areas created by cutout. Sometimes I repeat this
process, which produces a 'coloring book' kind of effect.

If the file name has the word Cut in it followed by 3 numbers, those
numbers are the settings for the 3 controls in the Cutout filter.

" Practice makes perfect, imperfect is better."  -- Paul Bley
		Emile Tobenfeld, Ph. D.
Video Producer			Image Processing Specialist
Video for your HEAD!			Boris FX
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.