Thursday, December 15, 2011

Michael Levy

Since childhood, music, dance and painting have been an important part of my life and have contributed to my passion for exploring the visualization of sound.
Recently I lived and worked for few years in the US as an art director at a major corporation, later on went on a journey around the world and now I am based in Israel and working as an art director at
1997-2001 Bezalel Academy of Art and Design BFA in Communication Design
2000 One semester as an exchange student at the School of Visual Arts, NYC
1991-1993 High School of the Arts Talma Yelin in the Jazz Music Department (saxophone)
2001 Sandberg Award, for an outstanding work
2001 America Israel Cultural Foundation award for excellence and high achievements
2002 Hatach Hazahav award, for logo and stationary, made for Open Design studio
2002 Honorable Mention for Giant Steps, of Electronic media Category, JVC Jazz Festival Juried Exhibition, NYC
The work was also presented at Savacou Gallery, FirePatrolNo.5 Art Gallery, and H&M Art Gallery of Harlem, NYC
2004 Honorable mention for Giant Steps, in Meiteevey Lechet Animation Contest
2005 Animation Award from the community

Animation>> One

About One
I first encountered Jason’s music back in 2000 when I participated in a student exchange program in New York. He and his big band played every Monday at Small’s. His music was colorful and exciting to me. I used to close my eyes and visualize the music in shapes and colors. My excitement peaked whenever they played Suheir. I dreamed of turning Suheir into an animation film, which would capture this fantastic piece of music.
One is my second endeavor in my own personal quest to understand how music “looks.” I constantly ask myself what are the colors of music, in what space does music live? If it’s moving, then in which direction?
These questions framed my creation of another animation that would “show the music.”
Being a saxophone player enables me to observe music and then translate it into a language of forms and patterns. I find this journey in the land of music, forms, colors and patterns exciting and rewarding; and it’s thrilling to discover I still have a long road ahead of me.
The music from One (and so much more,) is available on Live at the Jazz Gallery – Jason Lindner Big Band.
You can get it on iTunes or on the Anzic Records Store.

Sketches & Work process 




Animation>> Giant steps

About Giant Steps
Giant Steps is my first animation where I expressed my interest to translate music into the language of images and colors. This film was my thesis project in my studies of visual communication at Bezalel Academy of Art & Design, Jerusalem.
I play saxophone and am deeply attached to music. When I play or listen, I always feel that I actually “see” the music. Both music and the visual arts share concepts like tone (of color or sound), composition, harmony. Naturally they mixed and mingled in my consciousness over the years.
In Giant Steps, I attempted to visualize Coltrane’s complex harmonic structure that has challenged many musicians and performers. I took the challenge in a somewhat different manner.
In the film’s preliminary design and analysis, I felt there was no need to invent something new in order to visualize the music. I discovered that all the answers to my questions were in the music itself. I just had to listen over and over again until I found them.
For example, the melody’s repeated pattern reminded me of a building’s structure. It is played twice, and similarly the framework of the building in the film is complete only when constructed twice.
I also tried to understand the emotional meaning of each musical phrase and to choose the direction in space in the visual world that will suit it best.
I was happy to find out that animating “Giant Steps” brings Coltrane’s complex piece within reach of listeners who are not jazz music fans.
I feel honored to have had the opportunity of making this film.


Sketches & Work in process

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