Documentation from my embodied sound project:
Recently in project sketch Category
Every time I leave Sound Art I walk by the East wall of Rarig, and my reflections of class are interrupted by a festival of bird calls spilling from the 7-story wall of vines. I'm never able to see the birds as they crouch between the blanket of leaves and the bricks, but it's clear there are dozens of them, screaming, rustling, calling from every corner of the massive edifice. I've been entranced by the cacophonous evidence of an invisible party, and I want to capture this disconnect in my Embodied Sound project.
My approach is pretty simple, and I believe that will lend itself to the immediacy and starkness of the actual event. From an ethereal, transparent cage with undefined boarders, the bird calls will emit. I will be constructing a seemingly familiar, seemingly see-through form out of wire and thick plastic drop-cloths, and inside this form a recording of the birds will play. The speakers and audio equipment will be clouded and invisible by the slight opaque nature of the plastic, but the bird calls will be loud and clear, closely defined and detailed.
I've changed my project idea completely and decided to try something that would be very new for me. I plan on taking apart an old scale that I found at Savers and attempt to give it sound. Using an arduino, I hope to make it possible for the scale to play on a loop as people stand on it, or play more erratically depending on changes in weight as people jump or stomp on it.
I want have an installation of my turntables/records. The embodied part is found in the very physicality of records. It is because of the way the grooves are shaped that produces sound. The needle drags over this shaped groove, turned into an electrical signal, and then the mixer amplifies the sound. I find all elements of using turntables to be embodied.
I do not wish to make this piece heavy conceptually. My hope is that people can simply enjoy some music for a while, and serendipitously experience record skips.
My project has changed quite a bit since we all talked about our ideas in class. I am interested in creating a communal event that involves exploration on both an individual and group level. There will be no pre-recorded sounds or tracks, everything will be created on the spot with contact mics, determined by group engagement. Don't eat lunch before class, and let me know if you have any food allergies or restrictions.
My project is centered around one crucial technological function; playing a recording after pressing a button. I have been looking into arduinos as a possibility, but they might only be able to make tones or "melodies" out of those tones, which might be serviceable, if in desperation.
If an arduino cannot suffice, I will have to look into masking an iPod or similar mp3 player to create the sound; i really do not want to have this dimension added to the work, however.
If i can figure out how to get a thing to make a sound that I have recorded, the second aspect to my work is making a "duration"; I want to have a mechanical action press the button which would play the sound. The mechanical action must have a duration to it, to reference the passage of time. This could be done with a ramp for a ball to follow, or a trail for fire to burn. Some kind of rube goldberg contraption.
With these two aspects locked in, my artistic intention as author becomes solidified to a level i feel adequate. I don't know how other people will interpret it, but I feel I will have done my job.
I already have a fair number of the languages recorded for the respective phrase(s). Synching up the meanings is proving more difficult than I imagined, but I suspect I will get that done soon. I would have liked to have had a tower-like apparatus to have projected the sound around, but I do not think current time constraints will allow for its construction. As a result, maybe I will have some sort of metaphorical tower space to project the various language sounds around, to recreate the confusion of the mythical Tower of Babel.
Sound: wireless microphone inside a weather balloon on a roof
Amplification: speakers on rooftop
Questions: Where do I find a weather balloon? Where will we have access to a rooftop?
There is a lot of building to do this weekend. I am hoping to make a wind chime/ sculptural piece that reverberates sounds through piezo mics and their recordings in glasses and wooden objects. To make sound more interesting I may add objects inside the glasses, but I need work directly with the material to see what I can accomplish.