Back in the 1970's, Bill developed the Outer Space Visual Communicator (OVC), a visual music instrument that generated images on a custom-built display. Performances were given at various theaters in Boston and New York with the Sun Ra Arkestra and other musicians. This was followed by the development of equipment to map video images of the OVC into custom built video effects and processing devices and production of videos with Sun Ra and other musicians. Magazine articles about the OVC as well as pictures, videos, and technical details are available on the OVC page.
The original OVC was followed by design of a 3D version of the system, and a company Virtual Scene Systems was formed in 1989 to develop hardware and software for this project. When the company ran out of funding in 1996, a new company Intelligent Compression Technologies (ICT) was formed to fund the operations by commercializing data compression algorithms that had been developed during this project. The technology evolved into network optimization systems that were licensed and deployed by Microsoft Networks, Novell, Nortel, and other major telecommunication companies. ICT was sold in 2007 to ViaSat, which manufactures satellite data communications equipment and provides network services through its multi-satellite system. Bill worked as CTO of the network optimization group at ViaSat for the next 4 years, authoring over 70 patents covering various aspects of satellite networking.
In March, 2011, Bill founded Visual Music Systems to resume the development of the 3D synthesizer and assembled a team of engineers to build the OVC-3D. They opened offices in downtown Boston and spent the next 6 years writing massive amounts computer code and building hardware interfaces. The basic system was completed early in 2018, and a series of live performances at the VMS studio introduced the new OVC-3D.
Bob has known Bill longer than either care to admit. Bob worked with Bill at Virtual Scene Systems and subsequently co-founded Accelenet (ICT) After the sale of Accelenet to ViaSat Bob devoted his free time to his favorite past-times; his kids and his motorcycles. In early '11 Bill asked if Bob was interested in being part of the realization of his lifelong ambition and Visual Music Systems was launched.
As for the technical stuff, Bob graduated from U.W. Madison with a B.S. in CSEE. He spent ten years as a Research Engineer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in the Department of Ocean Engineering developing control systems for underwater robots, exploring wrecks, and poking things into hydrothermal vents. While at WHOI Bob authored numerous scientific papers on underwater vehicle, instrumentation, and communcation technologies.
Nathaniel has been playing with music and computers for 25 years. He developed the wavelet music transform, a multi-resolution spectral analysis technique that produces responsive, detailed images of sound. His software is used for audio visualization and transcription, and powers a blog exploring spectral music theory. Music visualizations have played in various film festivals,including the Boston Visual Music Marathon and International Punto y Raya Festival, as well as a live performance with the band Birdsongs of the Mesozoic.
Nathaniel graduated from Yale with a B.S. in mathematics, has worked in education and construction, and travelled extensively. His spare time is spent hiking and making noise with various musical instruments.
Yulia graduated from the math department of St.Petersburg University in Russia and received her PhD there in 1995. She investigated the stability of non-linear automatic control systems for her dissertation. At the time, she hated programming and decided to instead teach mathematics at St. Petersburg University of Architecture for a year. After experiencing a change of heart, she learned how to program and began working for Process Intelligence, out of Edinburgh, UK, focusing on creating systems for testing memory chips.
In 2000, she relocated to the United States and began to work for Bill at Accelenet ( ICT). She has written several papers on the stability of automatic control systems and holds a patent on Memory Redundancy Allocation Systems. She loves good books, drawing and painting.
Rita graduated from Brandeis Heller School for Social Policy in 2009 with a Masters in Sustainable International Development. Her lifelong dedication to social, economic, and environmental justice was recently recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Lawyer's Guild.
She enjoys cultivating urban gardens in the office, creating a more delicious and enjoyable work space. Her fresh baked cookies are the star of many a meeting.