May 18, 2009

Meng Tang's Independent Sound Project Statement

People would like to hear what they want to hear and don't like to hear what they don't want to hear subconsciously. I made this piece to give the audience an opportunity to experience what they can hear and cannot hear...

Final Sound

I was somewhat upset that I had to display a work that was not operating but I felt strongly about the idea of using sensors in everyday object to control samples that consisted of video and or audio. I have now given up totally on the wave shield and I am directing all of my attention to Max MSP. I also have a new approach to the way I would like to display it, everyone’s thoughts were great and I took them all into consideration while rethinking my last two sketches.

For the sampler I took out all of the sensors that I built, and all the wiring. I am going to place piezo mics that will set off the threshold in Max to trigger the sample. This will result in a better contact point, and more freedom in the controls than just sensors that I previously had in there. Also doing it threw Max with the piezos is giving me more sensors, the wave shield could only trigger 6 samples at a time, Max for this gives a lot more freedom in the samples I am choosing. Also having the availability of controlling video is a plus for this piece.

I also rethought my whole approach to how I would like the work displayed. I did a lot of thinking about what was in the Sound Art book and about how we can display our work. Since I was in the class I guess I was trying at more gallery type approaches to display my work. This I think was beneficial to try and step out of my normal comfort zone and try something different, but in the end I am more of a performer. And I need to take what I had set up in an installation, and bring it on stage.

I start out a lot of my sets with a little introduction; I have a whole list of samples that I play, that incorporate my name, city, etc. I am doing all of this on my turntables, so I thought about instead of just hopping up on stage and playing music on my turntables I would do the same introduction use the same samples I usually use, but instead of them being played from the turntables they are being played from other objects like the ping pong table, and the remote control.

I see the final product as me sitting on stage in a chair similar to what I had set up in the room, with some music playing quietly. I want to sit in the chair, or pretend I’m sleeping for long enough for people to be confused about what is going on. I would then start off my introduction using samples triggered by the remote control, and then progress into a quick game of ping pong. After the introduction is over I would continue on with my set like I would normally do.

After thinking about it I really feel that my idea is solidified and once everything in max comes together I should be good. I have never seen anyone do something like this in a concert setting I think that this will bring video djing to a different more tangible level. And the way it would be preformed could really make people at a concert wonder what is going on right now.

May 17, 2009

Jared's Final Project: Waste

For my final project, I chose to build upon my embodied sound piece.

I wanted to add a more dynamic output from the trash can to give it more life and attitude, so I decided to use my computer for help. I used the program Max MSP to make a patcher that would use input from microphone signal to turn the actions of the patcher on. The patcher itself incorporates two sound objects, a sound file playing a white noise at random speeds dependent on the pitch and volume of the microphone signal, and a piano like object that plays random notes and rhythms that are subdivisions of each other making it sound like a weird song. There is also a video component which plays random video clips in random sequences for random amounts of time. The videos are all somehow related to waste and its implications and consequences. The piece runs for 20 seconds after somebody throws an object away, then is reset for the next person's use.

MAX MSP FILE CAN BE VIEWED HERE (it's kind of fussy and messy)

There were some other changes that helped the project; I was able to use one of the schools trash can to make help the project blend into its environment. I also hooked my computer to the speaker and projector system so the sound could be projected from the speakers and the video could be projected onto the trash can and the wall behind it (also projecting onto the user to incorporate him/her into the scene making him/her feel accountable for consequences of their waste).

I feel like the project was very successful. Going further, it would be helped by adding about 20 more small video clips to make the video seem more random. That way, each time the video was played there would be new clips to keep it interesting. Also, it would be more successful to put it in the hallway with its own speakers up above and out of view of the user, and to find a way to remove the top window bar from the projection so it would be completely invisible until the video began playing. These would be minor adjustments that could greatly improve this project.

donovan final
documentation of wallwalking

May 15, 2009

Jonathan's Independent Sound Projects


The drumbike is exactly what its name implies. I made it in collaboration with my friends Matt Lilyquist and Dave Pagel, who are bike wizards. They have a welder in their garage, and a fascination with making unusual bicycles. They call their enterprise The Lab. The drumbike is something that Matt and I have been scheming about for close to a year. We both are musicians, and we used to work together at the same restaurant, where we'd often come up with ludicrous ideas as we worked. The drumbike is one of the few that stuck around, and the primary motivator was to ride something special in the annual Mayday parade. I learned to weld working on the drumbike, and it was a lot of fun to be the Lab's metalworking apprentice.

Of course, we're not the only ones who like to make hybrid pedal-power vehicles. Every year, the Mayday parade is preceded by a contingent of tall-bikes, low riders, trikes, tandems, tanks, etc. Annual gatherings such as Bike Kill in NYC and Cyclecide in San Francisco bring together hundreds of pedal-powered mutant machines for tall-bike jousting and other stunts. Locally, bike clubs like Black Label and the Scallywags have played a major role in filling the streets with improbable bikes. This tradition of "bike hacking" as Diane called it, comes out of a larger bicycle culture rooted in punk/activist subcultures. No one who makes them intends them to be art pieces in the gallery sense (myself included) but I think they're important expressions of street-level autonomy -- a way to interrupt the mundane predictability of our surroundings, a way to turn those bmx's that were rusting in the alley into something everyone can laugh about. It's been great to ride the drumbike around on non-parade days and see peoples' reactions...

May 5, 2009

Drew's Independent Sound

This independent project concerns both the physical relationship between person(s) and an object and the physical relationship between the object and its sound--the object is a kick ball.

The environment will be a room that can contain the modified sounds. This is one of the two restrictions of the speaking ball’s functionality; second being the battery life of the wireless mic. The class will realize both relationships I described. They are the participants and the sole activators, dictators in a sense, of the sounds I’ve incorporated. Those that choose to participate will dictate through play, bouncing the ball out of fun and hopefully out of curiosity for the voice.

A ball, when bounced under normal conditions, creates a sound with the surface it strikes. My idea is to modify the sound produced in the bounce. And I will not alter the original sound; instead, I will add to it, and in a manner that allows the listener to naturally associate the new sound with the bounce.

My tentative method is to surgically implant a wireless microphone into a kick ball, deflate, puncture, implant, reseal, then re-inflate, successfully . . .hopefully

Assuming it works, the mic will act to sensor any bouncing the ball experiences, and signal the receiver connected to a Max 5 program. The software will modify the sound of the ball’s bounce by selecting new sounds I’ve programmed and then projecting through speakers into the room.

The idea of the sound fully filling the space of the room intrigues me: I think much can be invoked through sound when it takes on a sort of omniscient presence while manifested in something as small and commonplace as a ball.

I considered a variety of sounds to implement— Synthesized, natural, singular, multiple, musical, guttural, representative, mood-specific, etc. and found speech, and specifically single words, the most compelling.

I like the idea of providing the ball with a voice. A sort of identity is established in voice, and through voice, a narrative can be communicated. So, I like the idea of attributing identity and narrative to something insentient; distorting whatever original perception there may be; perhaps, invoking an unnatural empathy.

And to note- I also consider how a reconsideration of the ball’s sound might influence one’s personal sentiments towards the act of bouncing a ball.

This project further explores the dynamics of communication, of a mostly physical nature, but a cognitive one too; regardless, this is a purely social piece.

There’s also a violence to throwing an object whatever it might be, whatever the intent, at or to something else. I question this means to an end as well as the end, or result, that requires the use of force at the price of physical exertion.

Overall, I hope to realize the image of a room of people playing bounce out of fun, while involved with the sounds they’re making.

April 22, 2009

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:

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.

February 3, 2009

Independent Sound 5/5