A Whole New World

Made by Raisa Chowdhury

A visual depiction of Raisa's favorite song.

Created: December 2nd, 2014



For the final project, I decided to do my visual composition on “A Whole New World,” from Disney’s Aladdin. Having grown up with Disney, especially the Renaissance films such as Aladdin, the ballad holds a special place in my heart. After studying the sequence for a while, I noticed that the music generally follows the actions of Carpet: when Carpet performs a trick, the music becomes more intense and when it cruises, the music becomes softer. So, for my project, I decided to depict a 2D version of the path Carpet takes throughout the song. During moments in the music where it becomes higher-pitched or more fast-paced, the path will rise and during more calming moments in the music, the path will level off.

The Entire Composition


In order to depict the path Carpet takes, I chose to use circles of different colors; my decision was inspired by the works of Kandinsky we have studied in class, particularly his piece “Several Circles” (1926). Kandinsky talked about circles of different shapes and colors having different sounds and how when these circles are combined, they can create music. Following that rule, I want to depict the music of “A Whole New World” through circles that create a path. Further inspiration for using the circle as the only shape in my composition came from learning that Kandinsky described the circle as peaceful and a representation of the human soul. Since “A Whole New World” is a powerful romantic ballad and a huge turning point in the film, I decided that the circle should be the only shape to depict the song.

The position and size of the dots are determined by the notes played in the song. When there are long, drawn out notes, or even multiple notes all around the same pitch, large circles are used to suggest a sense of stability. And when there are short, fast notes, small dots are used to suggest the fleeting nature of the notes. Furthermore, the distance between the circles suggests the distance between the notes in the song. When multiple notes are played near each other, or even when multiple instruments are overlapping their notes, dots are drawn close together. And when only a few notes are playing, especially at a slow and steady pace, the circles are drawn further apart.

The Beginning of the Song


In regards to color composition, I followed both the color palette found in the song and the color theories that Kandinsky has put out. Kandinsky talks about the three primary colors: blue (cold and peaceful), yellow (warm and energetic), and red (in-between). And since the color palette in “A Whole New World” primarily features blues, golds, and whites, along with some red-browns, those were the colors that I used to create my composition. I picked each color by taking screenshots of the video for “A Whole New World” and comprising a pool of commonly-used colors before selecting the final nine colors for my composition. That way, the colors would not only be reflective of what I have learned from this module, but also of my inspirational source.

In order to depict not only the music but also the lyrics found in the song, I chose different color ranges for different notes. Yellows were used for segments when the carpet is doing tricks. They symbolized energy and were the perfect tool for showing off the exciting nature of the song, especially during moments where the music picked up or the notes got higher. Trills found in the song, which also generally were used when Carpet were performing tricks, were also symbolized by concentrated yellow dots.

Blues were used when Carpet is moving at a steady pace or when Aladdin and Jasmine are singing long, steady notes. I also employed them when deep notes were used in the background, especially when accompanied by trills, because the deep blues and purples made the yellows for the trills stand out more. They were also used to suggest the calming aspect of the song because while aspects of it are energetic and adventurous, the song is first and foremost a song about trust and falling in love and I felt that the deeper colors symbolized that aspect.

Near the end, the colors got darker until they turn black, symbolizing the end of the piece. Kandinsky said that blacks symbolize conclusions and following that rule, I decided to add some black dots at the end to suggest to the viewer the piece is coming to a close.

The Middle of the Song

The Path and Background

While creating the piece, I decided to allow the path the dots take to reflect more of my interpretation of what Carpet does during the song, rather than what the notes themselves do. Therefore, there are certain dips and loops in the path that are more literal translations of the lyrics of the songs (“over, sideways, and under” and “soaring, tumbling, free-wheeling”) than the movement suggested by the music. Furthermore, because other choices in my piece, such as the size and color of the dots, are more reminiscent of the actual notes played in the song, I chose to create the path based off of the lyrics, instead, so that both would be incorporated in my composition.

Furthermore, because the song occurring in the middle of events (Aladdin and Jasmine are talking before they music starts and they talk soon after it ends), I chose to add some blank space at the beginning and end of the piece and have the dots gradually becomes more condensed at the beginning and less at the end, in order to suggest that feeling of looking at a snippet of the movie that is the song.

Originally, the background I chose was a single blue color. However, after getting some feedback that suggested the plain blue flattened the piece, I changed it so that the background was diffused blue circles of varying shades. I also added some small, diffused, white dots to suggest stars, without making them solid enough that they would appear part of the circle path.

The End of the Song

Curatorial Statement

“A Whole New World” explores the music behind the famous song from Disney’s Aladdin it is named after by creating a visual map that depicts the adventure suggested by the music of the song. It incorporates the teachings of Kandinsky with the original visual depiction of the song to create a new visual composition that gives simultaneously a more literal and more abstract depiction of the song.

Kandinsky’s studies of circles suggested that circles are a visual representation of notes and that when circles of certain shapes and colors are placed together, they can create music. He also wrote about colors and how different tones can have different effects: blues are cool and calming, yellows are warm and energetic, are reds are in-betweens. “A Whole New World” incorporates those teachings in order the give the viewer an idea of what is happening during specific moments in both the piece and the song. For example, when the music picks up, becomes more energetic, or grows higher in pitch, yellow dots are used. And when the music becomes calmer, slower, and steadier, blue dots are used. The exact shades of colors used in the piece were taken directly from the original visuals in the movie during the song, in order to this piece back to its inspirational source. The size of the dots also play a key role in the composition, for larger and more spaced-out circles are used to suggest longer and slower notes in the song, while smaller and close-together dots suggest fast-paced notes and an overall more energetic feeling.

The work is meant to give the viewer a visual interpretation of the music behind “A Whole New World.” It gives the viewer another angle from which to analyze the song, for it pays more attention to the music and its effects, rather than the adventures that were originally portrayed during the song in the movie.



I think that my composition is effective in expressing what I had intended to do, which was to provide a visual map for the “path” created by the music in “A Whole New World.” However, I don’t think that by just looking at the piece, without reading the intent behind the piece, or even the title, viewers would be able to guess that the composition was inspired by “A Whole New World.” However, there are certain aspects to it that I do think are successfully conveyed, even without a description behind my process, such as the literal path of the circles and the size of the circles. However, I don’t think this composition energizes me as much as the original song does, most likely because the energetic colors (the yellows) are generally found in the smaller circles. And while that is more reflective of my intent, it does not perfectly reflect the song in its entirety.

Before this semester, I’m not sure that I would have even understood why circles were being used to portray the song. I think that I would have found the piece interesting because it incorporated the colors found originally in the video for “A Whole New World,” but I don’t think I would have fully understood the intent behind it without have learned about Kandinsky and his work. I think that this semester has given me a better understanding of abstract works and the possible intents behind them, along with how to analyze them. It has also made me more critical, for I don’t think I would have noticed the lower level of energy in my composition, when compared with the original song, at the beginning of this semester.


4 comments · Latest by Rikky Roy Koganti

Great work! This really looks like a visualization of the music itself. So i tried listening to the song while trying to sync my eye movement across the path with the song and it worked out pretty well. The path follows the intensity and rhythm of the song at most places. I like your extensive use of colors and how you paid a great amount of detail to each color with its respective role in the composition, so that you get the overall effect you desire. All of the colors used in the composition serve their intended purposes. You have a good idea of the different emotions that each of the color evokes and you arranged them appropriately. Just one point, you could have also gone with the colors red or white, to represent the romantic duet parts of the song. Red is usually a universal symbol for romance and white, at least in this movie symbolizes the color of clothes that Aladdin wears whenever he tries to impress Jasmine. Also, red and white would give a bit more contrast against the blue background, which would then add visual weight to whichever areas in which they were located. Still, this is just a thought. I think your current composition already looks superb and i'm just wandering how it would look with different colors.

One thing I really like about your concept is how you are not just trying to represent the song, but you are trying to depict that entire scene in the movie, by synchronizing the path with Carpets movements, and also the idea of adding blank space at the start and end to symbolize the conversation in the movie scene. Its a good idea, because the song is analogous with the movie and I feel that any visual composition representing that song should try to sync with the movie as well.

Overall, really good work, I could almost see this being a type of visualization implemented in media players, to depict a song.

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A visual depiction of Raisa's favorite song.