The Show

December 25, 2008 at 8:31 pm (Window Music - Prototype 1)


It’s been a few weeks since our show at the House Gallery, which turned out to be quite successful on the whole. The private view was great, lots of people attended and shared their thoughts with everyone else.

It was certainly a useful process for me, hearing instant reactions and responses to what I had created. Whilst the piece of music I had made was quite strong, the visual element appeared weak in comparison. It seems there was some confusion in what I was trying to convey with the visual element. In the short space of time I had to set up the work I wanted to recreate a window frame using 7 identical photographs of my window, which I developed in the darkroom. 4 of these images, which made the top part of my window frame, were positive, whilst 3 of these images, which made up the bottom part of my window frame, were negative. Audio tape (from an old cassette) was intertwined over and across the window frame attempting to show how the feeling of that particular space was shaped by the sounds present within it, as well as the music I had composed using these particular sounds.

What seemed to be missing in most peoples perception of the work, was that the image was meant to represent a window! Also, not everyone could link the thin black tape as  being audio tape. So, the two key signifiers of the work were not that clear! I agree with the comments about the ‘window’, not being window-like, but not so much with the audio-cassette tape. Having said that, this comes down to the audiences familiarity with material. I think the source of this sort of material would be clearer to an audience more familiar with old analogue recording methods.


We all had feedback sheets in which we asked a question/s related to our work. There were some interesting responses:

Name a place in London that you visit or travel through alot.

What does it sound like and how does that sound make you feel?

person A – Oxford Circus

The place sounds like machine noise, because everyone looks very busy, rush, doing shopping, nervous – which is like a machine never stops running.

person B – New Cross

It is very difficult to describe a sound and harder still to describe a whole soundscape & this is a very small box…. it is hard to describe sound without referencing other sounds or generalizations about pitch i.e. noisy, quiet, etc.

person C – the park

woosha woosha woosha – librated

person D – Camberwell


person E – the roads

Sounds like a hurry… feels like time is running out…


Here are some earlier dark room experiments (of varying success!):




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Unit 2 Assessment – Blog Curation

December 2, 2008 at 11:01 pm (Unit 2 Assessment)

Please use the links below (or at the sidebar on the right) to navigate your way through my curated blog. I have written a short entry at the top of each curated section. This is to draw your attention to the most important blog entries which document the important stages of my projects development.

interim report (below this post!) or:

further research and contextualisation:

prototype 1:

prototype 2:


experimentation, reflection and planning:

tutorials and workshops:

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Unit 2 Assessment – Interim Report

December 2, 2008 at 10:03 pm (Unit 2 Assessment)


I have worked hard over this unit to push my project forward, through both practical and contextual research. My blog has played a crucial role in my projects development; regular reflection on my research has not only helped me identify and analyse different aspects of my work, but has also saved me a great deal of stress after having my computer stolen in October!


My original plan of study has altered since its initial inception, as have some of objectives and methodologies. One of the main changes in my methods has been how I’m using the journey as a compositional approach. Originally my journeys were a means of discovering interesting spaces within the City, which I’d then revisit and study. However, now the journey itself has become a composition (as in my Big Ben piece). This seemed like a natural progression of some of the theories I had been reading in unit 1. Through my research, in particular my discussion paper, I have identified two ways to study the soundscape; one being the transitional (in motion through spaces) and one being locational (from a fixed position). Also, I have solidified my approaches to perceiving my collected sound material (the sound-object, sound-image and sound-event), thus effecting my methods of constructing a composition as a whole.


Through various experiments and dérives, I have developed ways of working with the acoustics of spaces, which in turn have also informed ways in which I will approach my journeys. Now, whilst travelling through the urban landscape, I may make a decision to explore a certain space due to the nature of its prospective acoustics (as in my Beresford Road to King’s Cross dérive). This highlights another change within my project; the dominance of sound. This occurred during the development of my two prototypes. For example, after experimenting with visual elements for my Window Music piece and getting feedback on it, I realised that the visual drew too much attention away from the sound composition, which in itself carried enough detail and meaning. Therefore the visual element in the final presentation of my work will be minimal. That said, the advancements of my prototypes was greatly aided by developing visual schematics and others visual methods of structuring compositions, so I intend to carry on implementing these within my process. The domination of the visual element by sound has also arisen from my objective of drawing the audience’s attention to the soundscape and how it impacts on our perception of space and our behaviour within the environment. This was largely influenced by my further research in to Acoustic Ecology and the Vancouver Soundscape Project, as well as my own experience of the City during my dérives.


Due to the misfortune of getting my equipment stolen, some aspects of plan of study have fallen behind schedule. The two main ones being experimenting with the use of motion tracking in MaxMSP/Jitter, as well as embarking on dérives to collect material. The biggest loss from the robbery, asides from my loss in my self-motivation, has been the disappearance of 1 year’s worth of sound recordings and all the Logic instruments made from the material gathered. However, I have taken this in to account in scheduling the final unit of my MA. Despite my difficult circumstances towards the end of the unit, I feel I’m still in a good position to bring this project towards completion in June. Having overcome the negativity in my mental refrain, I feel a greater sense of determination to achieve my goals then before and I believe I will if I continue to work hard and retain my focus.


Plan of study for Unit 3



– buy a laptop and software needed for project

– embark on at least 2 journeys from a chosen bridge & identify one possible space to study

– experiment with motion tracking in MaxMSP and Jitter

– begin working on one composition based on journey



– Reflect on success of December’s work & adjust methods / plan if needed

– Carry out bulk of my journeys and work with material gathered from them

– Revisit space identified in December

– Continue work with MaxMSP and Jitter (I will dedicate a lot of time to this)

– Experiment with the visual element of my work

– Continue research in approaches to sound material



Reflect on success of January’s work  & adjust methods / plan if needed

– Finish the rest of my journeys and define all spaces I wish to revisit for locational study

– Continue working within MaxMSP and Jitter and try to finalize how I will use it

– Try to define the form that the visual element will take

– Test experiments with motion tracking in college, make adjustments



Reflect on success of February’s work  & adjust methods / plan if needed

– Revist all spaces for locational study

– Begin preparing all sound material for use in MaxMSP

– Test visual elements effectiveness in Jitter

– Test work and assess



Reflect on success of March’s work  & adjust methods / plan if needed

– Begin organizing show

– Test a scaled down version of work in MaxMSP / Jitter

– Contextual research



Reflect on success of April’s work  & adjust methods / plan if needed

– Continue organizing show

– Finalize all work and test



– Organise end of year show

– Make final adjustments to work

– Submit 2 written report





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Curation notes for Tutorials and Workshops

December 2, 2008 at 9:14 pm (Tutorials & Workshops)

My tutorials have been extremely important this unit. Andy has helped me resolve any issues and concerns I have had throughout, whether they be theoretical, practical or circumstantial. Cheers Andy! 🙂

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Curation notes for Derive

December 2, 2008 at 9:11 pm (Derives)

The more recent post in this blog section yielded more interesting ideas, which I have integrated in to my compositional approaches.

*note: Clap Piece (Part 2) can be found in the “Experiments, Reflections & Planning” section 

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Curation notes for Further Research & Contextualisation

December 2, 2008 at 9:09 pm (Further Research & Contextualisation)

All entries are relevant to my projects development. My discussion paper was particularly useful in helping me developed different perspectives on analysing sounds, and hence my compositional approaches. More research would have been carried out on the technological aspect, but I’ve have to schedule this in to the next unit due to the circumstances.

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Curation for Prototype 1

December 2, 2008 at 8:56 pm (Window Music - Prototype 1)

All entries are relevant to the development of this prototype. This was my initial prototype, which I tried to develop using Max by linking the two compositions. This ended up being unsuccessful, so I carried the Big Ben idea forward. Initially I still intended to present this in the intrim show, but circumstances didn’t allow me to. Since the robbery I have returned to the Window Music piece, replacing the interactive element with a visual one. (more details below)

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Curation notes for Prototype 2

December 2, 2008 at 8:34 pm (Big Ben Composition - Prototype 2)

All my work towards this prototype has been relevant to its development. Due to my robbery, I am missing one post where I have fine tuned the Max patch to obscure the sound-image less (in terms of pitch). Unfortunately there is no video of the whole patch working together with the video and sound. However, I have documented each separately, along with screen shots of Max and detailed descriptions of how it worked.

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Curation Notes for E, R & P

December 2, 2008 at 8:08 pm (Experiments, Reflections & Planning)

*note: I have listed the important entries chronologically, starting from the bottom of this blog.

“May-June sequenced and Planning Ahead”

Reflections on the effectiveness of a regemented time-table and setting myself goals for the summer.

“New Space”

Experimenting with acoustics of my bathroom. This influenced my use of acoustic space during my derives.

“Music Making”

I used certain compositional rules to processing the sound. This highlighted the balance between ‘natural’ and digital transformations of sound.


Experimentation with different uses of time. Again, certain compositional rules were applied to digital processing. Made me think about the use of time in my Big Ben composition.

“A Few Ideas” – Clap-Space (part 2)

Ellaborating on my previous clap piece, this time exploring different transformations of the claps. At the end the claps disappear to reveal the soundscape behind it.

“Reflections on losing my work”

Coming to terms with what happened…

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Window Music in “Feedback Show” @ the House Gallery

December 1, 2008 at 6:50 pm (Window Music - Prototype 1)

Title: “Window Music (inside-out mix)”

The dialogue between sound and our perception of urban space

is central to my current research.

This work is a reinterpretation of a piece of music

which was composed entirely from sounds recorded

outside of my window. It examines the new feeling of

the space in the light of more recent events that took

place inside my room.


I’ve decided to get involved with the show at the House Gallery, which will be on 4th-18th December. I will to rework my Window Music piece, incorporating a recording of the police searching for evidence in my room on the day of the burglary. I will also create a visual element to the piece which will be derived from the ‘evidence’ photographs of my room taken the day after the burglary. The work will be installed by the window downstairs, with headphones hanging on the wall and the visual element either on, or directly underneath the window.


I’m looking forward to finishing this work. I feel it will help me let go of past events, as well as giving me the opportunity to get feedback on the prototype that survived the burglary. Since I couldn’t get involved with the interim show, this will serve as a good precursor to the MADA final show in July.

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