The Colors of Dylan

Visualizing 55 years of songs

Kantar copy

Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2018 – Longlist

Each piece of music has a key: the note which is the basis of the whole harmonic composition. How can we use this information to visually represent the complexity of a musician’s production over time?
 
This data visualization project transforms each note into a color to tell the unique story of Bob Dylan’s work through the 442 songs published in his studio record releases. 
 
Check out the interactive interface in the video below, and feel free to visually explore 55 years of wonderful music. 

The Colors of Dylan

Visualizing 55 years of songs

Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards 2018 – Longlist

Each piece of music has a key: the note which is the basis of the whole harmonic composition. How can we use this information to visually represent the complexity of a musician’s production over time? This data visualization project transforms each note into a color to tell the unique story of Bob Dylan’s work through the 442 songs published in his studio record releases. 
 
Check out the interactive interface in the video below, and feel free to visually explore 55 years of wonderful music. 

The main design concept for this project was the idea of exploring the representation of different musical notes—the harmonic keys of each song—through different colors that could reveal patterns within the artist’s production over 6 decades. 

Milton Glaser’s iconic 1966 Dylan poster provided an effective and fitting palette to translate each of the 12 keys into a specific hue. 

The visualization is enhanced with other information telling us more about each song: its duration, its type (originals versus covers, blues, minor-key songs) as well as by the chance to rearrange them in different orders (chronological, record or key-based). I developed the project as an interactive application, also using it to generate a series of printed posters showing different patterns in Dylan’s artistic production. 

The Colors of Dylan
Year: 2018
Project type: self-started
Specs: design and development of an interactive data visualization using the Processing programming language
Data: original dataset from data.world, which I processed and expanded to add data on musical keys and song types. 
Code: coming soon!

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