Visual Patterns of Hallucination as a Basis for Sonic Arts Composition

Jonathan Weinel

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Visual patterns of hallucination; pin-point dot patterns of light, arranged in spiral or funnel structures are often perceived in hallucinogenic experiences such as those produced by mescaline. This article discusses the use of altered states of consciousness (ASC) and visual patterns of hallucination, as principles upon which to base the design of musical compositions and related audio-visual works. I provide some background information regarding visual patterns of hallucination (or 'entoptic phenomena'), with reference to studies by Klüver and Strassman. I then proceed to discuss a process for using visual patterns of hallucination as a basis for designing sonic and visual material, using a purpose-built piece of software: the Atomizer Live Patch. The implementation of this sonic material in the context of 'ASC compositions' is discussed with regards to Entoptic Phenomena, a fixed electroacoustic composition, and Tiny Jungle, an audio-visual work. These pieces form part of a larger body of work completed as part of my PhD research, where ASC was used as a principle for the design of electroacoustic music and work in related mediums. Through the discussion of these works I will demonstrate an approach for using ASC, and visual patterns of hallucination in particular, as a basis for the design of sonic artworks and visual music. This research therefore contributes to the field of compositional methods for electroacoustic music, while more broadly indicating approaches for creating digital artworks that reflect ASC.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAM '13 Proceedings of the 8th Audio Mostly Conference
Place of PublicationUnited States
Publisher Association for Computing Machinery
ISBN (Print)978-1-4503-2659-9
Publication statusPublished - 18 Sep 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventAudio Mostly Conference - Piteå, Sweden
Duration: 18 Sep 201320 Sep 2013
Conference number: 8


ConferenceAudio Mostly Conference


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