So this is a pretty decent version of a work which influenced (as it was the first) a lot of what most of us have seen in the Western World; screensavers, computer graphics, etc. The way I first heard it, they used old WWII anti-aircraft technology (relocated from battle ships to their studio) by running celluoid through it as music was played. The music generated the alterations is color and form and the layers were generated by running (I guess) more celluoid or the same reel through. And without further ado, the Whitney family's "Arabesque"(I attribute it to all of them, I may be wrong, but the brothers also did a lot).
Read more about John Whitney here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Whitney_%28animator%29
And don't just read, make yo self image literate too. *smiley face*