"It's so compelling and intriguing…it takes the musical experience to a whole other level."   "You don’t need to be able to hear to enjoy this song."

"…an innovative, wonderful new music video…"


"Very visual compelling and the song's very nice as well."

Asha Tomlinson
Host of CBC News Now

The Daily What


  Andy Frank
TheGrand 92.9 FM
  Tashauna Reid






This music video is my attempt at translating music into a visual form. My goal is to show the deaf community how recorded music is constructed.

Each instrument in this video was created from scratch by filming various light sources. The size, texture and position of each 'visual instrument' reflects how the instrument was mixed in the audio recording. The colour of the instrument is significant with regard to it's pitch.



The Dirt is a song from the album Leaving April.

Click here to stream / download Leaving April.


Light Waves vs Sound Waves

Vibration is a common characteristic of both light and sound waves. Each colour in this video represents a musical note as the colour and note share the same frequency.

Take the note A. It has a frequency of 440 Hz. If you double the frequency to 880 Hz, the note is still an A, but at an octave higher. Continue to double this and eventually you’ll reach the range of visible light.

The musical note A shares the same frequency as
this colour of orange.

To estimate the approximate colour for each note in this song, I used this handy calculator: http://www.flutopedia.com/sound_color.htm




is equivalent to
Left - Right Panning
is equivalent to
Left - Right Placement
Volume Level
is equivalent to
Brightness Level
is equivalent to


Seeing Sound (a survey)

To better understand how others visualize sound, I put together a survey with a small group of participants.

Participants listened to six instrument clips from the song The Dirt. While visualizing the sound in their head, they plotted out their visualisations on a graph.

I combined the data from the participants and noticed some very obvious similarities. The graphs (to the right) demonstrate a concentration of perceived sound, visually speaking, with regard to Left - Right / Top - Bottom placement.


Click here to view the reults of the survey:


In Conclusion

I hope and am excited to see if other creators might expand on some of these ideas that I have explored. Perhaps this video may give new meaning to the term "music video". I must state that I am not infact a NASA sound and visual calculating scientist, but I did my best.

I hope you enjoyed the video, and thank you for watching.


Click here to view the audio legend


About David Porteous

"...left the crowd speechless."
The Shield review of CMW Showcase

"David’s soulful voice, combined with his
passionate guitar playing, ended with the
audience loudly demanding several encores."
BlickPunkt review of concert in Hof, Germany

"...a talented singer/songwriter."
Janice Forsyth, BBC

"...what I call prolific."
National Post

CONTACT : davidporteousmusic@gmail.com

WEBSITE : http://www.davidmusic.ca

PRESS KIT : Press Kit Download



Produced and directed by David Porteous.

"The Dirt" audio recording produced, performed and written by David Porteous.
Recorded at Studio W19, Toronto, Canada by Michael "Mez" Dilauro, at Sundlaugin Studio, Mosfellsbaer, Iceland, by Birgir Jón "Biggi" Birgisson and at BLACKWATCH Studio, Toronto, Canada by David Porteous. Mixed and mastered at BLACKWATCH Studio by David Porteous.

All audio SOCAN/BMI © 2015 David Porteous


David Porteous began writing music at age 11, had his first radio play on CBC Radio 2 at the age of 14, and has since created 30 solo music releases.

2015 will be a busy year for David. This summer you will find David touring the east coast of Canada on a fundraising tour in support of the Canadian Women's Foundation. In addition, he will be releasing two new albums, entitled Leaving April and 31.

David is crediited for six songs in Eric Schaeffer's new feature film Boy Meets Girl. Schaeffer is best known for films like If Lucy Fell (starring Ben Stiller, Sarah Jessica Parker) and After Fall, Winter. Boy Meets Girl premiered in New York City in January 2015, and has won more than a dozen awards at various independent film festivals.

David has never shied away from creating music projects that push him into unknown terroirtory. For instance, When he was 21-years-old, he created a documentary and music project entitled War Music. Following in the footsteps of Canadian WWII soldiers through 10 countries in Europe, visiting battlefields and cemeteries. David filmed his journey, writing and recording music on-location, based on his experiences. The documentary film is avaliable to stream for free on YouTube.

Over the years David has toured extensively in Canada, the UK, Europe and performed at top music festivals such as NXNE, CMJ Music Marathon, Music City North, Acoustic Edinburgh, and Canadian Music Week.

His passionate on-stage performances and lead guitar work have also landed him opening slots with many talented artists, including Emm Gryner, Peter Katz, Matthew Barber, Neverending White Lights, Rob Lamothe, Lindy, and Nellie McKay.



August 8, 2015 - Kingston, ON
August 10, 2015 - Montreal, QC
August 12, 2015 - Fredricton, NB
August 13, 2015 - Moncton, NB
August 15, 2015 - St. Andrews, NB
August 17, 2015 - Halifax, NS
August 18, 2015 - Charlottetown, PEI
August 19 2015 - Belle River, PEI
August 22, 2015 - Ottawa, ON
August 23, 2015 - Toronto, ON