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Using Moviestorm for Multimedia Classical Composition

For the past decade and a half I have explored using multimedia in classical composition. While my first forty or so works were entirely acoustic classical compositions, I found that my percussionist love for timbre and sound melded well with my very nerdy love of technology causing me to veer body and soul into the world of electronic music and media. 

While I would love to write a traditional symphony someday, I find that my journey has let me to almost always consider possible visual elements in my work. This has taken mainly the form of animation that plays during live performance. For example, in the Creation Oratorio below, which won a New Genre Prize from the IAWM, the women's choir and percussion ensemble played live with a tape and original animation that projected imagery symbolic of both creation and procreation, the beauty of life on earth and life in the womb. These images were created in a program called Bryce, which was best known for the graphics in Zork, a legendary computer game.

Since then I have used a number of animation programs and styles, including traditional stop motion animation, Poser, DAZ Studio, and Moviestorm. I have also experimented with freeware software and apps that provide some options for visualization. This experimental animation for Ascension of the Cyborg Madam was done through live digital painting. As the work played, I "painted", capturing the result through a screenrecord program and then editing colors and cropping slightly. 

Out of the programs I have used, I have enjoyed using Moviestorm software the best. While the graphics are not as finesse as Maya or other more rendering intensive programs, for a composer who wants good results relatively quickly with a broad range of options and a quick animation software learning curve, Moviestorm is an excellent option. 

I used Moviestorm for a number of projects, including my work for Malletkat and multimedia Destiny:Eondwyr and my "groundbreaking" opera Libertaria. I have used Moviestorm animation software for several other projects, as well as for more practical graphic design needs like creating images for a CD album or book covers for my science fiction novel series The Libertaria Chronicles.

Currently pregnant, I have had to take a break from composing large scale works, but I started a new opera Alicia and the White Rabbit, which will be a children's opera with interactive elements. Like Libertaria, I plan on using Moviestorm for the bulk of the graphics, editing the final imagery down in Final Cut. 

Screen Shot from Alicia and the White Rabbit, created in Moviestorm.

There are a variety of animation programs available online. Some are freeware or shareware, and others have heavy price tags. Moviestorm allows the classical composer to explore animation without a heavy investment in monetary resources or time. Like most programs, the more you play with the program, the more you can stretch its limitations and create incredible animation. 


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