In the music video for “Howler Monkey,” a jittery electronic track from German duo Meier & Erdmann, a sheet of bright green grass covered by flowers and buildings unrolls against a gray background. As the song progresses, the grass sheet gets more elaborate, and the background turns to night. The video was created by an algorithm, which was created by visual artist Victor Doval.
As Vice’s Creators points out, the video was created in sync with the music, with each visual representing a particular frequency band. Doval used the programming language Processing and 3D computer graphics software Blender to manage the song data and morph it into peaks, valleys, and flowers. The algorithm works by taking audio data from the song and defining that data by specific shapes, lights, and textures.
“The initial idea came from the understanding of music as a temporal journey, a changing landscape that is perceived via the ears,” Doval wrote in his description of the video.
He notes that the visual is meant to evoke a 24-hour time lapse over the course of the song’s 290 seconds. Not only does the landscape runway unfold as the song moves, but the Sun seems to rise when the song begins and set when it ends.