Anne Beal (animation artist) and Christopher Zuar (composer) are developing a multimedia project examining the creative process. In 'Tonal Conversations’ the two artists explore the magic that happens in the space between musical expression and visual interpretation. Through listening to Christopher compose his music at the piano, Anne creates thousands of paintings that will become a series of animated short films. An average studio session might sound like this: “Hey, Anne, how do I get more of that deep blue color? What part of the tonality is evoking that hue?” Or, “Hey Chris, can you play the second phrase of this piece again? I’m trying to understand the timing so I know how many frames to paint.”

The artistic conversation shifts as the work evolves. Christopher's music is performed by a jazz orchestra featuring horns, woodwinds, and percussion. With this new collection of sounds, the work transforms and Anne revisits the animation to develop the film further.

The first recording session took place on August 30th, 2018, at the legendary recording studio, Sear Sound, in Manhattan. The Christopher Zuar Orchestra, featuring 20 of New York's foremost jazz musicians, recorded 5 of Christopher's new pieces.

The ongoing collaboration between the two artists will manifest as musical animated short films and evening-length multimedia concerts featuring the Christopher Zuar Orchestra. Anne is learning VJing software so that she can manipulate the animation in real-time during concerts.

The first edition of 'Tonal Conversations' is installed at 150 Media Stream, a larger-than-life video art installation in downtown Chicago from October 25th, 2018, through the end of January 2019. In this iteration of the project, Anne designs the animation specifically for the 150 Media Stream structure. Chris's music fills the atrium as people pass through the building. Check out an awesome article on the 150 Media Stream home page: (