« Tyler Hallett--Off Shore Off Duty--(1 minute) | Main | Failing Format »

Dancing and sounds

Well I suppose I got the idea from the two stories told to me by Diane Willow. The student (John) who had done a touch contact floor and another student who boiled a piezo in water. Both of these interested me for the reasons of
(1) They produced interesting sounds and (2) The latter was so simple in it's execution.

I don't try to hide the fact that I am completely inexperienced in sound art both in naming famous artists, and the use of equipment/software used etc. Because of this, I went with my "Pump It Up" video game.

My idea sounded easy enough. Wire 5 piezos to each of the 5 contact buttons on the pad, cut out the audio
and you wouldn't be able to hear anything except the sounds of foot stomps.

First I tried soldering the piezos as we had done in class. Bad idea. In trial runs they didn't last more than a few hits before they came undone. So low-tech was the answer with good old packaging tape.

After making several trips to Axeman and Radio shack I had my setup ready for class. I had only had time to test it using a friend's guitar amplifier so I had no idea if it was going to work that night. And we all remember the results.
I couldn't tell if the lack of sound at certain parts was a result of poor wiring on my part, or if the piezos I had chosen were too old, or bad wiring. The interesting thing for me was the song I had chose "Rolling Christmas" was a favorite of mine. I had played this song a million times yet my performance was a bit lacking. I know it's probably part nerves performing in front the class, but it was also the lack of music. I had no idea how big a part being able to hear the song played in how well I did at the song.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket The foundation of my entire piece

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket This one is actually a side project. I tried freezing a piezo in ice to see what would happen. Nothing, zip, zero. The ice completely stopped any vibration from reaching the Piezo. I suppose that's why it sounds so quiet during the winter. Ice and snow, nature's insulators.

Download file
Finally for those who were dying to know what Rolling Christmas sounds like, here is an mp3 for your listening pleasure.

In closing I want to just say this has been a fun experience and one of the most interesting art classes I have had
the pleasure of taking. I got the experience to work with and observe the works of so many interesting and talented people. Everyone seemed to take their project in their own direction for a truely unique experience. I wish everyone the best of luck in all future projects. Later.