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Using Audio Perception Tools To Visualize Amon Tobin's Music

Danish designer Jesper Bentzen is a methodical artist with clearly defined goals and a specific path of execution. In creating a visual treatment for Creator Amon Tobin‘s “Searchers,” a dark and densely layered track, Bentzen lays out the challenge—to enhance the listener’s experience of the track—and its solution, creating an insanely detailed narrative that moves perfectly with the song.

The above clip of the story depicts the abstract existence of a man with an umbilical cord of sorts floating in the ether, being prodded by a glowing, heavenly fish. Bentzen describes the surreal imagery as a mystery—“is he being born, dying or is he just dreaming?”


Bentzen has a unique method of interpreting the audio. He developed a set of “Audio Perception Tools” that allow him to create a visualization that corresponds to relevant events in the music. For example, he can use his mouse to create rises and falls of intensity based on how he hears the song. The same task can be performed for each instrumental part corresponding to a number of parameters. Using the resulting graphs, Bentzen sequences the visual action.


One of the tools within the Audio Perception Tools suite developed by Bentzen.


Of course, the graphs are subjective tools, so different people can interpret characteristics of the same song differently, creating what may very well be a blueprint for a different listening experience altogether. It’s an incredibly intuitive way of bridging the gap between mediums, orienting music in a way that a visual person can best comprehend.