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April 29, 2009

hear John Cage’s Organ2/ASLSP in Minne

John Cage's Organ2/ASLSP will be played each Thursday evening at 7pm at Basilica of Saint Mary, Minneapolis - beginning April 30th and concluding September 24th, 2009.

This performance series is held in conjunction with the exhibition The Quick and the Dead.

April 27, 2009

interesting electronic -sound art links

digicult posted info about Tech Stuff. Video manual of electronic music”, a book and DVD produced by Isbn Edizioni,

The Daniel Langlois Foundation hosts Ricardo Dal Farra's Latin American Electroacoustic Music Collection which includes biographies and audio samples.

April 22, 2009

Independent Project –Meng

I have been thinking to make a sound installation works relate the work what have done in Nash Gallery.
Concept: a sound installation that focusing on ideas such as memory sound. People like to hear what they want to hear and don’t want to hear what they don’t what to hear.
The experience of this work: The spectator will enter a room and watch a video and try to figure out what the video ‘s sounds are.

Jonathan's Independent Project

I'm interested in performances, environments, and objects that use everyday elements in playful, unintended, or ritualistic ways. I see it as a way to poke at the boundaries of material and social possibility; to celebrate our autonomy over commodity objects by giving them new uses; to figure out how to survive with less; to respectfully mourn for the isolation that persists even in crowds; to suggest that sometimes impracticality is more fun than the kind of mechanistic efficiency that dominates our bottom-line obsessed mass-production culture...
So that's some context. It's a general sentiment that motivates a lot of what I do.
Specifically, I'm working on a couple of sound related things right now:
1. A portable patchwork amplifier cabinet. Nothing special technologically, but it's meant to be a performance tool that calls some theatrical attention to the origins of its parts...
2. The DrumBike -- My friends Matt and Dave and I have been kicking this idea around and doing sporadic work on it for a few months. This weekend, we really made some headway, and it looks like it'll be possible to finish it for the Mayday Parade on Bloomington Ave on May 3rd. Basically, pedalling propels the bicycle and also turns several axles that are mounted above the rear wheel. These axles have smaller bicycle wheels which have bolts in their rims. The bolts push back drumsticks which are mounted on bottom-brackets on bike forks, and held back with springs. The springs snap the drumsticks into the drums... Hard to explain in text, but you'll see. It's a fun carnival tool, and a silly experiment. Hopefully it'll also produce some infectious beats (we can't wait to get to the stage of "programming" the beats.) Here are some terrible low-res pictures I took with my cell phone:


For my independent project I would like to use visuals to connect with sound. I have always been confused about how video djing would work until it was broken down so simply in Dj Spooky's book. His point about using video or other images is that you have to think about the dj as a director or a writer. I have always been interested in how sound can enhance or weaken our experience of visuals.

I envision my final to be something like this, I am working on editing a video that will be played on a projector. I will play sounds from my turntables to go along with the video. I plan on using After Effects for the video editing, and I would like to also incorporate some 3d images and animations that I have been working on. Once I finish editing the video I will explore the options I have for a sound track. I will create the sound track to the piece using two turn tables, a mixer, and a sampler. Right now I am contemplating if it should be a performance piece or if I should show the video as a finished project with the sound and video all as one. I will make the final decision when I get further along.

Although at this point I know nothing about it, I am impressed with Max MSP and what it could do for my piece. I would like to explore Max a little while I work on my project to see if I can learn it and incorporate it into my project.

At this point I am struggling with exactly how the soundtrack will go. As I mentioned before I would like to edit my video first and let that dictate how sounds will be played. I would like to get away from "hip-hop" djing, because that is what I am most used to, and try to incorporate other elements of sound so it would not take a fan of hip hop to experience the piece.

Haley's FInal Project Idea

~ concept
I would like to create multiple silo sounds sculptures, each with their own sense of a trapped memory or moment in time. I am hoping that the layered combinations of eerie sounds I've recorded in the silo will work together to create individual experiences and create a picture or a memory.

~ the experience of this work
My experience in the silo has been extremely fun and it has allowed me to to do various types of recording. When I used Ryan's "Lucierizer" we experimented with layering our voices and harmonizing as the original track was morphing. After we did that for several minutes the silo began to feel tighter and our voices became richer. As the sounds built up there was an extremely full sound all around us and I could feel the vibrations surging through my body. I am hoping that I am able to orchestrate the recordings and build proper sound sculptures to allow the viewer a similar experience.

~ a visual or narrative sketch
I am striving for the sound to swirl around in each cylinder and also move up and down. I will create this by having the sound come from multiple speakers and fade from left to right. One ear phone will be lower to help with the movement up and down.

~ technology of choice
I was lucky to have paired with Ryan last week to help me with recording and also explore his embodied sound project. He recorded a few tracks for me with his equipment and I also had the Marantz digital recording. I hope to layer the different types of tracks to allow for more diverse sounds. The sounds will be played out of i-pods and speakers hooked up to my laptop. I may possible need the wave shied to play one set of sounds.

~ where/how you imagine presenting this work
I would possibly like to use a space under the stairs or somewhere a litter darker, but out in the open. I want people to see it and be curious. I will have the sounds just loud enough so people know to investigate.

~ how you will begin
I will begin by editing the current tracks I have and then finding the different combinations of sounds that fit together best,

~ what you are most uncertain about at this time
I am most uncertain about how I will create the domes of the silo sculptures. I am also considering adding various sounds that I recorded sans-silo, such as bees and birds. Also, my mom happened to be using a chainsaw out in the yard while we were recording. so I may or may not cut those sounds.

Haley's Embodied Sounds (part 2)

Download file

Embodied Sound by donovan

my embodied sound piece was a dock. the dock was wired up with piezos and amplified. as the spectator walked across the dock the creaks and groans of the wood were amplified which in return caused the dock to resonate. I wanted to explore ideas relating to the absurd and unusual phenomena. I didn't include any documentation because the film was too dark to make any thing out. My final project is a continuation of the dock....video documentation will be posted.

Independent Project - Alpha - Joe (and Ben)

LOL - Ben's post is awesome and does a great job of explaining some hurdles we will be facing. A must read. Two thumbs up.

A bit more on the technical issues:

The wave shield is a formidable beast. It's easy to get it to play things, but actually controlling what it plays is a little bit trickier. Other than that, the program is just going to be a mess of "if" statements.

In order to produce a globe that can be held and rotated, the Arduino and wave shield will have to be contained inside the globe. This will improve on the aesthetics (not having wires sticking out) but it will all need to run on a single 9 volt battery, and I'm not sure how long it will last.

There will also need to be a prototyping board inside there, as we will have several switches, and only one Ground.

We're also going to have to devise an interesting and efficient (brief) way to instruct people on how to use the device. Most people will push one button, and when nothing happens, assume it's broken. Maybe it can play audio clips of instructions as it is being used...

Embodied Sounds (part 1)

Download file

I enjoy the idea of creating an intimate sound sculpture that entices the viewer to explore. Each listener has their own moment to listen and pick up the sounds that are most interesting to them. I also wanted to create a sense of movement so I hid 2 layered tracks, playing out of 2 sets of earphones with the tracks also being played backwards at the same time. I was fascinated by how interesting the sounds were simply by playing them in reverse. THis technique allowed me to investigate everyday sounds and experience them in a new and exciting way.

The first upload is on of the tracks and I will post the second immediately afterwards.

Tim's Final Project

Things I know for sure:
*It will involve a performance and circuit bent equipment.
*A costume
*A video

Things that it will probably be:
*Involve multiple performers playing a composition made by me for specific circuit bent equipment.
*More than one costume
*Screen Printed Party masks
*A video composition by me involving children and the abstraction of growth into the unknown.

Things I am thinking about in making the project:
The project will be a continuation of my previous works. It will divulge into the mind and the mysticism of time and growth. Specifically, I have been thinking about the pseudo nostalgia placed on youth this being demonstrated through my "toy" orchestra as well as through the video piece. The journey we will embark on will be an attempt to explain and relocate our once powerful and youthful mind through an intense battle with our older decaying mind. Thus we will encounter both birth and death and the short blurred psychotic distance in between. I like to think of my animal-human characters in my films and performances as allegories of the movement of the mind, something in relation human-animal masks will be involved!

On a technical side I am incredibly interested in composition of songs and written musical notation and the idea of writing musical notation specifically for circuit bent equipment. Also I have been doing more research on damaged video or what now seems to be referred to as "data moshing" (There are some interesting videos on youtube if you do a search for it.) These two things will be my primary priorities.

Only thing I am uncertain about is the time. And the length and extravagance of the performance will be dictated based on how much I feel I can get done and feel good about. If all goes well it will be a five-ish minute performance with four performers.

Probably be performed in performance space.



Tim's Final Project

Final Project-Kelsey

I am going to continue work on the blood piece that I presented for my embodied sound project. I am hoping to get a clearer recording of the flow of the blood by trying some different methods of recording. I will do some research at the medical library on blood and hopefully other culture's concept of the movement of blood and from that I hope to figure out how to present the project. Perhaps I could create a video installation where there would be projected imagery of a red light flowing somehow the the movement of the blood in order to give the viewer the feeling of being somehow inside the body witnessing this phenomenon. If I decide to go with the video installation I will probably use the installation room on the first floor or the critique room on the first floor. Or I could create an animation and do much the same thing. The biggest problem right now is finding a means of recording that will suit this project that is within my reach.


For my final project I would like to have a physical space others can enter into. The space I would like to construct is in the shape of a dome. The dome material will be a frame built out of ¼ inch rods and fasteners. The covering will be some material that is light permeable so that I can project from the outside and inside will be illuminated. The sound element will propagate from some speakers. The dome should be able to accommodate a few people sitting down. The projection will be ambiguous light.

Embodied Sound - Joe Kane

The driving force behind my embodied sound project was a desire to work with water. None of my art projects have had water as the main focus. I felt this was a good opportunity because producing a distinct sound was the main goal and, through experimentation, I found that using a contact mic on a basin as water fell into it produced a fantastic spectrum of sound. Since my piece was part of a group project, I had to find a way to make the sound controllable so that it could be orchestrated with the other pieces. I accomplished this by devising a mechanized spoon which disturbed the falling water and created a sharp splashing sound when activated.

The overall theme of the installation was "Jungle" and the sound of falling water fit in well. I tied the piece in aesthetically by creating a chaotic facade of different wires and tubes which hung from the piece. These simulated the vines and overgrowth of a jungle, but the wires and tubes blended better with the electronics and bent metal of my sculpture.

donovan's Independent Project

concept: an interactive sound/video installation that focusing on ideas such as grief, clearing/fogging of thoughts and metal traveling if you will.

the experience of this work: the spectator will enter a dark room and walk across the dock, interacting with the video.

visual or narrative sketch: you walk into a space, a dark space, and step on to a dock. the dock is about 23ft long and butts up to the wall where it continues in a video projection. The image is blurry, but you see a murky figure moving about. as you walk along the dock the creaks and groans of the wood are amplified and the video clears. the louder the sound the more the video clears enabling you to see what is going on, however the figure is gone and the dock is empty.

technology of choice: Max and Piezos and video projection.

where/how you imagine presenting this work: the piece will be in E138.

how you will begin: i will enter the space, allow the rest of the class to follow, i will remain silent for comments then open up to dialog.

what you are most uncertain about at this time: using Max to do what i want to do.

April 21, 2009

Ben's Independent Project Proposal - Collaborating with Joe

Well my idea hasn't changed much from how I presented it to the class the other week, except for the fact that Joe gracefully volunteered to turn it into a collaborative project. The basic idea is that the finished product would be a self-contained interactive piece dealing with accents. I am envisioning a standard globe with the stand removed, it is important not to have a "This Side Up" connotation to the piece, and there would be 15 or so buttons that you can press located in countries spanning the globe. When you pressed a button a recording of a voice speaking in that area's accent would play, you could then continue to hold down the button and press another one which would trigger the first accent to attempt an impersonation of the second. There are a couple of big issues that still have to be sorted out, we are still not sure what the recording should be of. Should it be a famous phrase, or should everything be improvised? There is also the massive issue of whether or not to have the person that we recorded do the impersonation in their native language or if they should speak in English with their native accent while impersonating a third dialect. It is difficult to even mentally sort out how this web of accents is going to work, but the confusion and fun of trying to wrap my mind around the complexities of accents is what got me interested in this project in the first place. The confusion is a good source of motivation. We will be using the Waveshield along with some speakers that I have had lying around for a while, and hopefully Joe's technical expertise can get us through any difficulties the interactivity may present. I imagine beginning this whole thing by constructing the Waveshield (on the tech side) as well as compiling a list of the must-have accents (on the human side), Joe and I have a rough list of twelve accents but it probably needs to be fine-tuned, locked-down, and (most importantly) searched-out. I am still not entirely sure where I am going to find all of the people that I need to record, luckily we have a diverse campus so I am imagining a difficult but not impossible trek to find all of these folks... and then there is the small issue of explaining to an Irish person why I need to record them impersonating a Middle-Eastern accent. It should be fun.

Ray Lee and Sound Art

Ray Lee has a very strong grasp on how powerful sound is and how various swirling tones can create a new physical space along with an embodied experience overall. Not only does he create visual elements as tools to project the sound, but he uses movement to create a sense of environment and allows each viewer a different experience. He concentrated on relationships between multiple sounds; how they bled, create tension or a visual picture.

Better Late Than Never...

Every time I tell anyone that I am taking a Sound Art class, they ask "Isn't that just MUSIC?" It took me a while to come up with a response, but seeing and listening to the clarinet player on the first night of The Spark Festival helped me figure out a way to explain myself better. I cannot recall the name of the performer, but he definitely left an impression on me and helped shape the definition of sound art for me.

It was really bazaar because I found the performance far more enjoyable with my eyes closed. When I was watching him play, I expected to hear a familiar musical sound and I struggled to find a rhythm or melody. Something else happened when I closed my eyes. I began to imagine a colorful scenery with bursts of color and movement. There were so many different sounds mixing together to complete a complete orchestra of organized noise. After I closed my eyes and felt the flow of time through the sounds around me, I opened my eyes and I instantly lost the image in my head and simply say a man gyrating on stage violently playing a winded instrument.

This experience made me realize how important vision and memory are to sound. Once I took the association I had with the instrument the artist was playing, I was able to imagine a beautiful picture with the sounds around me to create a new visual picture.

April 28th - Sonic Adventure details

On Tuesday April 28th, we will meet at the Student Center on the St Paul campus located at 2017 Buford Avenue. The campus connector stops nearby.

Meet at the student center at 6:00 pm to begin our sonic adventure.

Alejandro Velez at the Animal Communication Lab will introduce us to the anechoic chambers and his research as well.

Alejandro, guest scientist for the evening, is a graduate student and researcher in Prof. Mark Bee's lab in the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior on the St Paul campus.

TJ Barnes, guest artist for the evening, will join us as well. TJ is an artist and graduate student in Experimental and Media Art area of the Department of Art. He will introduce us to some of his work including his use of the hydrophone.

Instructables has a guide for a DIY hydrophone.

Jared's Independent Project Proposal

I don't yet have a specific plan for my final project; however, I am pretty sure that I will use my trash can amplifier. I may set up a more dynamic system to make it more interactive if I can figure out ways to accomplish some of the ideas tossed around during my embodied sound feedback session. Recently, I hooked a stage mic into it and plugged it into my car's cigarette adapter so I can karaoke while I am driving to work or around with friends-it's pretty entertaining. So, I might incorporate the idea of having it strapped to the top of my car, or maybe even wire it to my car amp too. I am hoping that the result is still as playful as the concept of my embodied sound project, but that the product functions more dynamically and consistently.

Jonathan's Embodied Sound Entry

In class I shared this recording that I made -- a document of a musical approach to embodying sound. I am playing cello, and Jackie Beckey is playing viola. We both have our strings detuned in order to get lower frequency sounds out of our instruments, and we are using commercially made piezo pickups plugged into large bass amplifiers. All this serves to accentuate the physicality of the sounds we are making -- these simple repetitive drones become a landscape that has a physical presence in the room. You can hear us play at Art of This Gallery after class on May 5th.
listen here

I didn't present this in class, but I wanted to share another music/sound piece that deals with embodiment and disembodiment. For this piece, I sing into a loop pedal that is plugged into a radio transmitter; my looped voice plays through a few cheap clock radios that are all tuned to the same channel. Then I sing along with my disembodied voice. The sound you hear at the beginning is the static of the radios, which goes silent when i switch on the transmitter and the light. Unfortunately, the sound quality on this video is pretty bad, so i recommend using headphones.

April 20, 2009

Media Mill

Media Mill is an extraordinary resource available to you. It is an archive for your video and audio files as well as a means of distributing your work to others.

Use Media Mill to share your media via our Sound Art blog.

This general How To video provides an introduction and overview to using Media Mill.

This How To video guides you through the process of submitting your content to CLA's iTunes U site or CLA's YouTube channel.

Embodied Sound

Mini-DV tapes and SD cards are held in a yellow min-bin in the closet of W123.

Video and audio recordings are on these media.

You can use these to extract video and audio of you Embodied Sound Project to post on the blog.

If the nature of your project is such that you are using other media or modes to document it, post this on the blog as well.

If you are posting video, use Media Mill.

You can then embed your video documentation in our blog.

Media Mill provides several resources to help you with this process, including guidance as you export your video for Media Mill from: Final Cut Pro, iMovie, or Adobe Premiere.

Thank you,


Nina Katchadourian

Nina Katchadourian works across media. I recently re-visited her piece, Natural Car Alarms, and thought you might be interested in her work and general and the the NPR link with Rick Karr's sonic postcard in which Nina describes her project, how she accessed the sounds, etc.

April 7, 2009

project proposal

Post a proposal for your Independent Project

Describe your:

~ concept

~ the experience of this work

~ a visual or narrative sketch

~ technology of choice

~ where/how you imagine presenting this work

~ how you will begin

~ what you are most uncertain about at this time

Select your presentation date May 5th or May 12th

April 3, 2009

DAN DEACON artist presentation!

So I did my presentation on Dan Deacon. After reading the first part of the book I came away with a weird sense of what sound art was it seemed like none of the artists could agree exactly on a definition. I did get the impression that these sound artists wanted to create a separation from music. Which, I think is fair as to attempt to create a solid definition for sound art as not simply "experimental music" but also naive because if we except music as a valid art form then we have to accept musicians as artists then can combine elements of various art forms or sometimes be more of a musician or sometime be more of a sound artist. Which finally brings me to Dan Deacon who I definitely think is a sound artist as well as a musician. His early conceptual albums dealing specifically with the functionality of sine waves through pedals and it combined effect in different environments is a more of a sound art project than a music. Through his growth his music has become more rhythm based and slowly transformed into slightly a more conventional electronic music. Even now however his approach to live performances is based on audience interaction and his space in relation to the audience. As well as his more dissonant stuff stays intact even in his new album "Bromst" note the combo of "Suprise Stefani" and "Wet Wings". The first is a song were the synth tones flow somewhat uncomfortably into chopped up vocal samples that never really gets comfortable with any rhythm and is a composition that is almost a question that Dan Deacon asks were to go from here placed strategically in the middle of the album. The latter is a solely an eerie vocal track played through a loop pedal that seems to come to terms with the realization of death. Even though it would be naive of me to not first recognize as a composer/musician he constantly thinks conceptually as a sound artist would about his work and how it is written and performed live. This goes along with his early more sound exploration based pieces. As a live performer Dan is a beast, he performs on the floor and demands fan interaction often through making the audience to interact with one another and/or with the environment of the venue. To conclude, his background in sound art/sine wave compositions and continued use of early techniques even in his newest album continue to demonstrate he should be recognized as an sound artist as well as a electronic composer/musician. This is without mention of his involvement in Wham City and its various exhibitions,theater productions, etc.

Here are some awesome links.

Reviews of Bromst:

Here's the complete video of the interview:

Here's part of his "In The Studio" with Pitchfork TV, this shows this crazy midi player piano that was used in "Bromst"

Here's a portion of a Dan Deacon show with some solid audience interaction:

Lastly here is a link to buy tickets for the early show on May 2 at the Triple Rock with his 13 piece ensemble.


New Musical Instrument Competition

A friend forwarded me this Wired coverage a while back and I forgot to post it.
Interesting videos to check out:

April 2, 2009

where to find parts

Rather than re-writing another list of suppliers, I recommend that you check out:

Limor Fried @ Ada Fruit Industries and ladyada . She has a guide to finding parts that she calls
How to get stuff to make more stuff

... be sure to check out:

surplus stores

For local msp resources:

is a self-described surplus haven. Great if you need something "now" or if you generate ideas by browsing in a setting that encourages you to combine the visual with the tactile experience of exploring things that you can then hack, re-define, or otherwise transform.

If you have some lead time, surplus places like Electronic Goldmine generally offer the same electronics things only cheaper.

A coveted national resource that is local for us is Digi-Key. Generally parts arrive next day without needing to pay for next day shipping costs. They sell small quantities, are very dependable and have an encyclopedic collection of electronic components.

April 1, 2009


The experience of sirens far surpassed what I expected upon walking onto the giant stage filled with these weird sculptures. It started slow as the first assistant turned one on and then tuned it and then it began to slowly turn. The sound gently whizzed by. Then I turned my head up and the assistants had already turned on two more machines. This would continue until the real climax of the evening when all the sculptures were moving quickly and then the lights went out and there was just this intense harmony of this giant chord almost moving and vibrating throughout the room.

I think this is when the piece really struck me because at this point you were no longer on the stage you were far away in this weird alien space. The flying speakers immediately reminded me of UFO and the sound seem to hit some chord deep inside the body as if you were not listening for the sound but more feeling the sound. I think the show was incredibly worthwhile in providing this existential experience.

Embodied Sound Project Idea-Kelsey

I want to record, with the contact mic, the flow of the blood through the body in order to investigate Ayurvedic concepts of the way in which blood flows and how that is described pictorially. I would like to record multiple people's blood flow in order to get a range in which to decipher the flow of the blood from anatomical notions of pulse. I will then record the sound created by the contact mic with an audio recorder. I have not decided on presentation yet.

Bernhard Leitner-Kelsey

"I believe that it is a very important fact that the body be understood as an autonomous acoustic instrument, as an integral acoustic sensorium. The hollow spaces of the body, the bones, the way the sound is transmitted in the body, how it passes through the skin, and how it is transmitted on. In this sense, the point is to open up, to allow sounds and sound motions to penetrate the body, let them resonate in the body. The average person is, I think, paved over in an acoustic, physical sense. He is apprehensive when sound penetrates him, resonates in him, and then vibrates out of him again" Bernhard Leitner.

His website: bernhardleitner.at/en/index.html

Born in Austria 1938. Degree in architecture from Vienna technical University in 1963. From 1969-1978 Bernhard began his experiments on sound space work and early soundscape objects. Since 1987 he is a professor of Media Art at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna.

The works I presented: Sound Cube, 1971; Sound Chair, 1976; Le Cylindre Sonore, 1987; Headscapes, 2003.