*This is, in some ways, Stefanie‘s post, because she found it. Here goes, anyways:
One of our longstanding understandings of infrastructure is that it facilitates and supports something else, but, in these discussions, we almost never discuss music (even though Jan has written extensively on the topic). When I think of music infrastructure, I typically think like a sociologist and come-up with ideas like those in this website about linking together musicians, studio owners, and show venues or infrastructure as constituting the business and legal environment music is embedded in.
However, composer, pianist and software engineer Stephen Malinowski has me thinking another way about music infrastructure, in particular, about visualization infrastructure for audio stuff. Now, music visualizers are nothing new. In fact, off-the-shelf software installed on most computers is capable of it.
National Public Radio in the states covered this story about music visualization infrastructure featuring Malinowski. The title, “Watch A Mind-Blowing Visualization Of ‘The Rite Of Spring'” is pretty accurate in my opinion. Similar to overcoming the problem of getting pseudo-instruments into the hands of millions (a la Guitar Hero and MIT’s Media Lab),
Stephen Malinowski has created one brilliant solution to an age-old problem: how to communicate and understand what’s going on in a piece of music, particularly if you don’t know standard musical notation.
The visualization infrastructure is fairly basic at this point, and, as Malinowski admits, he is only at the beginning of his ability to render music (with his imagination being one of the only limitations). Still, his “music animation machine” is a pretty fascinating case of infrastructural development. Enjoy!