Oskar Fischinger was a German-American artist, musician and animator who created mesmerising animations that paired together music and abstract visuals. He was born on June 22, 1900, and died on 31 January, 1967.
On Thursday, Google is honouring what would have been his 117th birthday with a Google Doodle — and it’s pretty amazing.
The Doodle lets anyone create music and visuals in the artist’s style. If you click on the customised Google logo, you’re taken to a kind of music pad that lets you enter in notes to create melodies, auto-generating visuals alongside them.
You’ve got a choice of four instruments to choose from, and you can control the tempo, change the key signature, and overlay effects on the work, and it all updates the 16-beat score in real time.
It feels magical, and you can create flowing, harmonious melodies in under a minute, even with no musical experience whatsoever (or prior knowledge of Fischinger’s work).
But it’s impossible to really describe using text alone. You should go ahead and play with it, right now.
Here’s an example of Fischinger’s work:
The Google Doodle will only stick around for a day, but after that it’s not gone forever. There is a complete archive of old Google Doodles available to view and play with here. Enjoy!
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“Second Hungarian Rhapsody” by Franz Liszt.
google is celebrating oskar fischinger’s 117th birthday and the doodle music animation thingy is wonderful
— Innr (@vrnnchrss) June 22, 2017
So obsessed with the Oskar Fischinger Google Doodle. Played around with it for almost half an hour. It is very therapeutic.
— Cécile (@kittisaurus) June 21, 2017