How do you turn music into a Jackson Pollock painting?

Jackson Pollock developed a technique of flinging paint across giant canvases that were spread on the ground. His abstract paintings expressed raw emotion, and avoided rational symbols and images. Pollock’s art was a direct translation of actions of his body. This technique, used by him and other artists, was therefore named “Action Painting”.

Beat Painter responds to the different sonic parameters of the song without attempting to express neither its subject, nor its lyrics and meaning. Like in Pollock's art, the digital painting is affected by movements in the music - manifested in the rhythm, the volume, the pitch - and translates them spontaneously into strokes of paint.

Pollock’s approach gave rise to questions about the role of the artist when the painting technique leaves so much to physics and chance. You, too, could put yourself in JP’s shoes and experience a considerable, yet restricted, measure of control over the resulting art. You can dictate the length of the stroke, the amount of paint dripped in every line, and the number of colors used. You can even decide that the strokes on your canvas will be exclusively Black and White (Pollock did this for an entire year). Leave the rest to the music, and to coincidence.

No painting is the same. Every person, every song, every computer, every point in time - will bring about a unique and personal work of art. Share it with your fellow artists and friends.

About Us

We are friends who share a love for music and things of beauty: Oran is an architect and Ilan is a web entrepreneur.

We built Beat Painter because we felt a need for something like the music visualizers we had in the 1990’s: those in Winamp and Windows Media player. We enjoy experiencing music in a holistic manner: tingling our visual sense, in addition to the auditory; when videos on Youtube are nothing but a still frame, we get disappointed Now we have something beautiful and dynamic to look at while Youtube is playing in the background

Beat Painter brings back those music visualizers of yesteryear, but also evolves them: it is interactive, inspired by the art style of famous modernist painters, and the uniqueness of every piece of art calls to mind today’s landscape of extreme personalization and sharing.

Here are some things to check if nothing is being painted on your screen even though you have music playing:

  1. Have you entered the Beat Painter link through Safari or a Facebook app on your phone? Facebook has an in-app browser that cannot operate Beat Painter. And neither can Safari, sorry. Try opening in Chrome or Firefox.
  2. Some computers have software that filters the music output of the computer itself. You will know that this is happening to you if Beat Painter picks up your voice but not the sound coming from your computer speakers. If that happens, try playing the sound from a different source, like your phone or a radio.
  3. Have you made sure to confirm the message that asks for permission to access your microphone? Beat Painter works through your microphone so that message must be confirmed. We do not and can not listen to or save the input from your mic in any way.
  4. Oh, and... You must have a working microphone!