September 2011 Archives

Recordings from the chamber

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visit to Mark Bee's lab

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We will meet at the St Paul Student Center today at 2pm.

You can use the campus connector to get there.

Alejandro Velez, a PhD student and researcher in Mark Bee's research group will meet us and bring us to the
Animal Communications Lab.

After introducing us to their research with frogs and frog vocalizations, including the "cocktail party problem", we will experience the anechoic chambers that they use for research.

Bring sounds to explore in this unusual space:

audio files in WAV format, objects that produce sound, your voice, body percussion, etc.

Matt Howard Contact Mic

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my piano

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matt howard searching for something that feels goodmatt.mp3matt.mp3

Piezo from the sphere Recorings

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Amp circuit finds jesus in this chaotic world of electromagnetic signals:

Then piezo takes a trip inside a piano
piezo in the piano.aiffamp circuit finds jesus.aiff

Finally my heart jams out for the piezo

1 minute (Candice)

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Contact Mic Exploration

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Canned Dice 2-3 minute sketch

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Jake and Dan's 1 minute Sound Site

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Jake Rohde and Dan Dicken's 1st sound site project

Stethoscope Recordings

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I buit a microphone using a stethoscope because it is difficult to record body sounds with the contact mic.

Here is a picture of the stetho-mic:


It uses two electret mic elements, which are extremely cheap (less than a dollar) and they sound great.

site sound - space invaded

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space invaded.mp3
(2-3 minute sketch)

Jake and Dan's 2-3 minute recording

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Jake Rohde and Dan Dicken's Recording

contact soundz

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Contact Mic Excursion

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I hardly made it out of my kitchen, there were so many interesting sounds to be documented.
1. I put the mic in the toilet to record what the toilet hears.
2. I froze the mic in an ice cube and recorded the sounds of it melting in a bowl of water.
3. Placed the mic in the basin of my stainless steel sink and placed speakers on either side of the sink and waited for feedback/resonance.

Ice Cube.mp3
Sink Resonance.mp3

A Machine to See With

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This trailer for the site specific, mobile phone, cinema experience that we mentioned, A Machine to See With, by London based Blast Theory features Ben Moren.

2-3 Sound from the sphere



This is a purely abstracted culmination of the 1 minute sketches, warped and twisted beyond many degrees of recognition. This is more a less a example of the intensity that sound possess, and the why not aspect of art. The process involved the passing along of further distorted renditions of the track, between Matt, and Szavio, each transference perhaps leading further down the rabbit hole.

1 Minute Sound From the sphere


This sound is composed from a highly modified field recordings of downtown Minneapolis, and the surrounding journey.1020O.aiff

Contact Mic Recordings


My room TV.mp3

Big old TV.mp3

Small old TV.mp3

I got these recordings despite having soldered poorly! I was holding everything like a crazy-man

Broken One Minute

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Well, the original file I had for my one minute sketch is still broken, so I can only really upload (since I realized I hadn't had it up yet) either the broken version or the earlier unfinished version. For now, I am putting up the broken version (which is missing several clips and has weird jumps in volume as a result), but it will suffice for now.

Project Pseudo-Rap.wav

Contact Mic Sound Bites

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Contact Mic pressed against a variety of basic tools around the apartment. Some periphery noise came in through the recording, but the microphone still carried the sound well.


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contact mic

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One guide to making a contact mic this one presented with the detail and improvisational apporach characteristic of Nic Collins.


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There are many tutorials online.

Here is a quick and legible introduction to soldering by Nic Collins

Ryan Wurst 3-4 min Piece


Here is the link to my piece:

3 min Sound

Sequenced from everyone's files - daniel


electronics • Nic Collins style

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We will dive into electronics and soldering in the spirit of Nic Colins and his Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking


Fortunately for all, Nic has generously made available his earlier | original version Hadware Hacking available as a pdf.


recorder - marantz PMD 620

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Guide to the PMD620

sound editing +

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introduction to sound editing environments:


iphone editing

pro tools shortcuts


2-3 minute Shopping Spree (Sam Fuentes)


1-minute Shopping Spree (Sam Fuentes)

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Wwwwalk by Shannon

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1 min sketch by Sara and Shannon

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Just Not Listening

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This is the remix, yo. --BrianJust Not Listening.wav


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2-3 min sketch

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Site Sound

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Tomoko Sauvage • Waterbowls

Golan Levin • Telesymphony

Stephen Vitiello • World Trade Center


Susan Philipsz • Turner Prize works • Lowlands Away


Janet Cardiff • Walks

Bill Fontana • Pigeon Soundings • Sound Sculptures through the Golden Gate,

Christina Kubisch • Electrical Walks • Clocktower

2-3 re-mix sketch

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You have access to all of the 1 minute works create by our class. Using this archive, create a new, 2 to 3 minute sonic sitework. Post it on the blog and on the server.

1 minute sound sketch

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When listening to the sounds that you recorded on your soundwalk, select the sounds that you would like to use to evoke the experience of the place/site that you visited.

Use these to create a 1 minute sound work and that post your 1' sound work on the server and on the blog.

Course Information

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Course Objectives
To articulate your personal relationship to sound and contemporary art by:
1. Experiencing, reading about, and discussing sound art and the historical and cultural contexts that influence its production.
2. Engaging in a collaborative learning process to develop the technical skills to make sound art that is well conceptualized and meaningfully presented.
2. Cultivating a vision and artistic practice that reflects your personal interests and talents, as well as an awareness of global conversations and social issues.
4. Realizing your sound art works as fully as possible and sharing them with others.

1. In class verbal participation is important and together with attendance comprises 20% of the final course grade! Everyone is expected to actively participate in discussions.
2. Assignments are due at the beginning of class on due date; late assignments will not be accepted under any conditions. Students are expected to practice responsible data management and backup (no "the computer ate my homework" excuses will be accepted.)
3. The intention of this course is to foster open conversations about art and ideas! There are no "DUMB" comments or questions. It is crucial to the intellectual and artistic atmosphere of the class that each student should participate vocally and add to the knowledge pool of the class. Please feel free to engage more reserved classmates in discussions and to give others a chance to talk.
4. NO surfing the internet or email during class, NO cell phone use in class, NO headphones unless you are using them for a project during designated studio time. Violating these rules will be treated as an absence from the day's class.

Punctual attendance is critical. After missing two classes, your grade will be dropped a full letter grade and each subsequent day missed is another full letter grade drop. Three tardies (more than 10 minutes late) will equal one absence and leaving early will count as tardy.

The studio and the building are open during normal building hours (7am - 11pm M-F, 9am - 6pm Sat, closed Sundays and holidays.) Equipment Checkout hours are as posted on the Checkout Room door. Do not ask for access unless the room is open and attended. You must present your student I.D. card in order to check out any equipment. Please help conserve energy by turning off lights and computers if you are the last one to leave the studio... your cooperation will be much appreciated.
Departmental policy requires that you must have permission to be in the studio after 11pm and that two persons must be in the studio together after hours. A security monitor is in the building from 11pm - 3am. See the instructors for an after-hours permission slip. The security monitor has been instructed to eject anyone without a permission slip or working alone after 11pm. You cannot work in Regis Art Center after 3am.

For your own safety, do not prop doors open.

Required Supplies:
- Book: Sound edited by Caleb Kelly
- Headphones with 1/8" connection
- External Firewire hard disk formatted for Mac

Recommended Supplies:
- digital audio recording capacity

Grading / Evalutation
20% participation in class and via the blog
20% Site Sound
20% Embodied Sound
20% Independent Project
10% Artist Presentation
10% Sound Sketches and Tech Tutorials

All Projects must be completed by the beginning of class on the due-date. The project will be graded on the strength of its concept and the quality of its execution. Demonstration of sincere effort and personal growth will be taken into account.

You participation in class is the most important way that you can ensure that this course will be meaningful to you and everyone in the class.

Get involved in class! Ask questions and participate in discussions. Share your interests and your discoveries. We'll all learn more, and you'll get a better grade too.

University Grading Policy
A Achievement that is outstanding relative to the level necessary to meet the course requirements.
B Achievement that is significantly above the level necessary to meet the course requirements.
C Achievement that meets the course requirements.
D Achievement that is worthy of credit even though it does not meet the course requirements.
S Represents achievement that is satisfactory, which is equivalent to a C- or better.
F/N Represents failure and signifies that the work was either (1) completed but at a level of achievement that is not worthy of credit or (2) was not completed and there was no agreement between the instructor and the student that the student would be awarded an I.

Course Schedule

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Syllabus: Sketch

This schedule is a guide. It will help to give you a sense of the pace of the course, with the due dates for each of the major, student -generated, course components. Following our initial class discussion I will develop the specifics of our course schedule based on class interests, prior knowledge and potential visits with guest artists. Essential readings, examples of sound art and technical resources will be introduced weekly. My expectations for you are high. When possible, I will respond to student interests in an improvisational manner and shape the course accordingly. I will, periodically, add readings, technical tips and conceptual frameworks to cultivate the inquiry and creative work that I expect from all students.
The specifics of the related artistic, intellectual, and technical resources will be posted online. It will be your responsibility to check regularly to learn about upcoming events and available resources.

ARTS 3605 Sound Art

9/6 + 9/8
Week 1~ Introductions and Course Overview
listening ~ hearing ~ sound
spatial explorations
Readings: What is Sound Art?

~ IN ~
9/13+ 9/15
Week 2 ~ Site and Sound
Field recordings & Experiments with found sound / local noise
Site-Sound project sketches

9/20 + 9/22
Week 3 ~ DIY Contact mics
Construct mics and small amplifiers
Continued field recordings & experiments with found sound

9/27 + 9/29
Week 4 ~ Initial project proposal for Site Sound
Acoustic Ecology/World Soundscape Project
Sound Map / Sonification

10/4+ 10/6
Week 5 ~ Update re: Site Sound project in process
Studio time for Site Sound project


10/11 + 10/13
Week 6 ~ *Site Sound Project Presentations* • Tuesday 10/11
*Site Sound Project Presentations* continued • Thursday 10/13

10/18 + 10/20
Week 7 ~ Embodied Sound
Embodied Sound discussion - intro to Circuit Bending
• Introduction to Sound Artist Presentations

10/25 + 10/27
Week 8 ~ Circuit-Bending
Experimental sound instruments
electronic explorations

11/1+ 11/3
Week 9 ~ Embodied Sound continued
Introduce "Embodied Sound" Project Concept
Interactive sound explorations • introducing arduino
• Sound Artist Presentations

11/8 + 11/10
Week 10 ~ Embodied Sound continued
"Embodied Sound" Project Concept presentations
Interactive sound explorations • introducing arduino
• Sound Artist Presentations

11/15 + 11/17
Week 11 ~ *Embodied Sound Presentations* Thursday 11/17
arduino +

~OUT ~

11/22 + holiday [no class 11/24]
Week 12 ~ Independent Project introduction
Independent Project sketches - discussion and studio time
arduino +

11/29 + 12/1
Week 13 ~ Transmission Art
Independent Project updates and studio time continued

12/6 + 12/8
Week 14 ~ Transmission Art continued
Independent Project studio time

Week 15 ~ Independent Project studio time

Week 16 ~ * Independent Project Presentations*

Overview of Evaluation:
20% participation in class and via the blog
20% Site Sound
20% Embodied Sound
20% Independent Project
10% Artist Presentation
10% Sound Sketches and Tech Tutorials

Sound Art Description

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Sound Art shapes aesthetic space and time. It is a new media genre that relates to the visual arts and music but is neither music nor visual art. We will investigate the powerful capacity of sound to shift our perception through the experience of listening and the process of producing sound art. A range of creative explorations and technologies will be introduced to engage you in an artistic process of realizing your individual and collaborative ideas with sound.

You and all of the students will be asked to contribute to an evolving database of community resources and personal inspirations. The experience of listening, a series of sonic explorations and sound sketches, an artist presentation, two sound art projects, and one independent project will provide opportunities for you to develop basic fluency with the process of developing your artistic language with sound. A series of readings, responses, and discussions are designed to broaden and deepen your understanding of the emergence and evolving scope of Sound Art.
The collective endeavors of this semester-long investigation will be documented and archived on the course blog through the active participation of all students.

Required Text:
Sound edited by Caleb Kelly
MIT Press, 2011