Sunday, 18 May 2014

F.C. Judd

The work of Frederick Charles Judd previously neglected somewhat by the history books, has over the last few years received renewed interest due to Ian Helliwell's work. Ian's articles, films and exhibitions have collected and disseminated many of Fred's forgotten work and ideas. One of these was his Chromasonics system, which effectively combined CRT based Lissajous figures with a high speed colour wheel to allow full colour display of the electronic images with movement generated by sound. Fred also wrote a series of articles in Practical Electronics magazine on how to construct such a system as well as other audio visualization techniques such as colour organs. Fred is now recognised as an important electronic and tape music composer with a re-issued collection of works available here.
I wanted to focus on his visual work, so here are a series of scans from my collection and some links.

Here are some stills of the images generated by the 
Chromasonics system 

They are very reminiscent of work by Ben F. Laposky although moving rather than static photographs. Fred was also aware of the Oramics system build by Daphne Oram which also used CRT's. Orams system however used them to turn images of waveforms into electronic signals rather than visualise the sounds themselves. Ian's film Practical Electronica contains some footage Fred created of the Chromasonics system in action. below is a full colour image from the cover of Practical electronics. Fred's work on audio definitely inspired wide range of experimenters, I wonder if any visual work by his readers survive. 

Here are some images the construction of the Chromasonics system notice the large colour wheel that synchronised with the refresh rate of the displayed images so as to selectively colourise different signals allowing for multi colour display.

Here are some stills of Chromasonics and the trailer for Ian's film

These are some clippings of the the displays Fred developed.

And finally a few pics of Fred at work creating sound!

Practical Electronica will be screened on Tuesday in London link to the event here 

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