From the Archives: “Moonlight in Glory”

The amazing TED conference has been slowly releasing videos from their last event, which took place a little over a year ago in March of 2007. One of their recently released videos is of Jakob Trollbäck (of Trollbäck + Company) presenting a collaborative project he undertook with Brian Eno for the occasion of the TED conference.

“Moonlight in Glory” goes back to the earliest experiments in animation and filmmaking from pioneers like Oskar Fischinger and Len Lye. Abstract forms and minimal type are presented as visual music. The images are not illustrations of a lyrical theme or even a reflection of the song’s mood; rather, they are sound made visible.

Here’s Jakob’s talk at TED:

Thanks to Jonas Eason for the heads up/reminder!

About the author

Justin Cone

Together with Carlos El Asmar, Justin co-founded Motionographer, F5 and The Motion Awards. He currently lives in Austin, Texas with is wife, son and fluffball of a dog. Before taking on Motionographer full-time, Justin worked in various capacities at Psyop, NBC-Universal, Apple, Adobe and SCAD.



Yeah, I just ran into this the other day. I wish they would’ve shown more of his talk… though, maybe this was it – I guess some things don’t need much verbalization.


I think that was the whole talk. TED encourages its speakers to keep it brief. I think all the talks have an upper limit of 18 minutes (though Jakob didn’t even get close to that).


That makes sense… but they keep you begging for more.
Listening to JJ Abrams speed talk through a story, or trying to understand Aubrey de Grey’s condensed answers to the universe, is a little dissatisfying in that time limit (knowing how much more they have to offer). But, no real complaints – TED offers a helluva lot mind expanding material to masses (for free), and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Nice post.


I saw this the other week and kinda scratched my head about it being presented at TED. I mean we have Al Gore talking about global warming, a 14 year old genius pianist, expolorations of moons that took 7 years to get to, and then… this? I understand it’s place at the conference, but I think there are more fascinating things going on in our industry than this.
I’m not a hater of Trollback, I’m just a little underwhelmed by what he did here. It just seems like a pretty obvious thing to do. In many cases there are already a plethora of music videos that let the music drive the visuals. And I didn’t really think that this experiment revealed or discovered anything that was that interesting or new. Visually speaking, it’s kinda boring.


^ Agreed.
Nothing really new here.

If you want to talk about audio driving visuals- you should call Robert Hodgin.


nothing really special here. Although it is cool in its own way but there’s really nothing new… I’d have to agree that visually speaking it’s kinda boring although the music or the audio was interesting, i think that kept me up.


^Agreed alright…invoking Len Lye is a bit rich actually.

It would seem to me that a couple of Trapcode products driven by audio through expressions in AE is not hugely interesting, nor groundbreaking.
Did the humourless beardy guy fly by aeroplane to LA?


yeah, as much as I like Jakob’s philosophical slant toward motion graphics, this particular piece doesn’t really cut the mustard in terms of groundbreaking material, but rather, reissues imagery very similar to Richter’s Rythmus series, and without the abstract relationships that Fischinger’s material produced.
I remember one of my old professors explicitly stating that beat-matching and tonal semblance (or imagery that’s overtly driven by the music) were big no-nos when doing exercises such as this, but instead to produce visual abstractions of what the music means in a broader sense.

but… not that I’m correcting the makers of this piece, because it’s still interesting, and unlike them, I don’t have a pot to piss in.


Don’t mean to be rude but personally I actually found the BMW spot AFTER the LED conference footage more interesting than the music video itself.


by the way, suprememoves (^), good cue with invoking Hodgin.


Some of you like to design in order to impress your design colleagues… while others like to design for the people.

But what’s more important is to see the reaction of people who are non-designers when watching a project.

So, I wished I would have heard Jakob talking a litle more, as I am a big fan of TED. A little less controversial than Philippe Starck latest “Design is dead”.

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