Linking Cycles

August 23, 2008 at 3:55 pm (Window Music - Prototype 1)

I’ve been trying to work with Time and link my two cyclic compositions together.

The above image initially started as drawings within my sketch book, later translated in to a clearer digital schematic.

What interested me about linking with these 2 circular sound-compositions in visual terms was that two logical paths that formed due to times direction. This transition point in between the two circles formed another circle; the opposite ends of which touched the start/end point of each compositions. Essentially, it hinted at two separate routes between the two spaces, which made me think about embarking on two different journeys between the locations; one from beresford road to vauxhall bridge and vice versa.

In an attempt to move this forward I began thinking about this idea with MaxMSP in mind. First I returned to my sketch book to quickly get down my ideas, then went back to the computer to create another digital schematic. This process of moving in between the ‘real’ and the digital was an effective and interesting process! Here is my schematic:

The idea is simple in theory, but slightly more complicated in terms of using a camera / sensors to map movement, as well as programming within Max. It is however, doable!

With the intrim show forthcoming in September I thought it’d be sensible to think about a scaled-down version of this using the wacom. To my horror, I’d somehow managed to delete the wacom object, as well as previous Wacom interface patch (see interface), so I had to start from the very beginning once more. I decided to keep things simple and used the mouse position to separate areas of the screen, which later on I could adapt when I downloaded the Wacom object:

The screen is separated in to 4 sections and there are four sound sources, (4 sin waves at different frequencies) each of which is designated to a space. Depending on where you position the mouse you will hear either a different mixture of tones at different volumes. Most of the work was simply scaling numbers and working with maths. Although rather the patch is rather dull and cumbersome, creating it was a useful excersize in problem solving within MaxMSP.

The next day I downloaded the Wacom object and began to work on this…

….which proved a lot harder than I thought. I really wish I hadn’t misplaced my interface patch! I’ve got a lot of work to do in MaxMSP, perhaps an ‘Ay Caramba’ is in order. There, that’s better. I shall take a break from this idea and consider my options. Perhaps a derive is in order!!!


A few days on and I feel that the Wacom-Max combo and my idea of using 2 cyclic compositions don’t mix in this instance! Whilst my initial idea could be accomodate by somebody’s movement in a space, transferring this to an A3 Wacom would be hindered by how people would instinctively use it. It’s a drawing tablet, so you’d want to make gestures and explore the effect of different movements across the surface (for example). If however, I took one composition (such as Vauxhall Bridge) and separated it in to it’s 8 layers (8 separate pieces of short looped audio) and then went on to separate the Wacom’s surface in to 8 segments for each piece of audio, then it might work well. The pressure of the pen could be mapped to volume and/or the movement within one ‘area’ could alter the frequency content of the sound, similar to ‘interface’ (see previous). This is interesting and has potential, but I’m not sure if it’s really worth the time. All this thinking about interface recently has taken me away from thinking about the compositions themselves and my objective of describing the sonic activity visually. I must have a think…


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