“Creating ‘Press Play’ – a Visual Audio Experience”


Media & Studio Arts Symposium

Inventing Oneself Through Art and Technology

Creating ‘Press Play’ – a Visual Audio Experience

February 22, 2020 | 3:45 PM – 4:45 PM

Paul “Willie Green” Womack

Description: In the Summer of 2019, producer/engineer Paul “Willie Green” Womack collaborated with Manhattan based Massey Klein Gallery for a visual/audio installation experience titled Press Play.

From Massey Klein:

“Producer Willie Green’s latest project uses a software process that converts an image into sound, effectively allowing him to sample select artwork from the gallery’s roster of artists. After importing images of each painting, print, or drawing, visual qualities of the art are translated into complex audio waveforms that are then manipulated into distinct instrumental sounds, including drums, synths, and more. Armed with only these avant-garde tones, Green has composed an original album, Press Play, that has been directly created from each work of art and is also a sonic expression of his own interpretation of each piece.

During the exhibition, visitors to the gallery are encouraged to listen to each of the ten tracks composed in response to the artwork. Near each painting, there are headphones installed to experience the musical compositions.”

Womack will display his process of turning paintings into songs. Beginning with sound creation using the Sonic Photo software then moving to composition and mixing in Cubase, this presentation explores the techniques and challenges of this application of synesthesia.

Presenter Bio:

Paul “Willie Green” Womack is a Brooklyn-based record producer and audio engineer, and a mainstay of the independent Hip-Hop scene. One of the sonic architects of the sub-genre known as “Art-Rap”, Green challenges conventions with his dense sonic landscapes, pounding drums, and innovative sampling techniques. A drummer from a young age and a graduate of Berklee College of Music, Green brings a diverse musical background including jazz, classical, and soul to the dusty looped world of Hip-Hop. As a member of the Audio Engineering Society, Green also strongly promotes audio education, serving as Hip-Hop and R&B Chair of the Convention Committee and a member of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee.