Retrospection

September 20, 2007 at 8:24 am (MADA UNIT 1)

Recently I have spent my time reflecting on my previous audio-visual works, in an attempt to refine my understanding of them. Through this process I hope to achieve a clearer view of how I’d like it to develop over the next two years, which in turn will help me to identify the specific areas of research that will inform my work.

During my degree Creative Music and Technology I became extremely interested in how sound can be visualized. This stemmed from both my practical (composition) and theoretical research in to acousmatic music. Acousmatic music (an extension of music concrete) refers to the compositional approach of hearing sound without relation to its source (its causality). Acousmatic composers took the view that once removed from its context via recording, a sounds source and its extrinsic meanings should be ignored. This gives the composer the opportunity to focus on the intrinsic properties of a sound-object: its texture, timbre, transformation, interactions with other sounds etc.

With my audio-visual work that followed I tried to create visual representations of sound-objects, expressing their intrinsic qualities. Later, in my collaborative work with dancers I approached sound from the opposite end: using sound to convey body movement and gesture. I always strive to create a tightly syncopated dialogue between sound and image, so that these two elements seem to function as one.

My last two projects (Window on Singapore & Venetian Dreams) were concerned with re-synthesizing the experience of a place. Built around sound and image collected in Singapore and Venice these works were created through a process of immersion, collection, reflection, and finally creation.

Immersion – Trying to cultivate the feeling of being completely absorbed by the sensory experience of a place
Collection & Reflection – Capturing fragments of this experience, later re- experiencing and reflecting on their meaning.
Creation – With this collected material I begin experimenting with and developing different approaches to best convey my ideas both aurally and visually.

These works grew out of the material I collected. My process of deciding what to record (image-wise) is quite simple. When I have this immersed, subverted perception of reality I film anything that has visual sonority. It could be a mutated shadow on the wall, distorted reflections in water, or rigid movement of a machine…. The way that these images transform is what I find beautiful and as I see them I start to think of how I could describe these transformations using sound.

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