Structure of the piece: some ideas

January 26, 2009 at 3:31 pm (MaxMSP/Jitter Progress)

What initially started as a way of reflecting upon my journeys and the visual element of my final piece, turned into thinking about the possible ways of structuring the work within MaxMSP. This lead me back to think about the visual element again, as I will explain!


Firstly I drew a quick sketch of my 3 journeys. There are locations which I have travelled through more than once – the bridges. I started to make notes… Could these cross-over points be a way of structuring the final piece?

I started to think of this in terms of my sound compositions.

One of the issues I’ve been trying to deal with is how do I link my journeys together within MaxMSP. Do I approach it in a linear way; using Logic to create ‘complete’ compositions and then linking them in Max. Or do I take a more open approach to time; using Logic to prepare individual sounds or small groups of activity, which could then be composed in Max and allowed to form relationships with other sounds more ‘freely’.

The ideas I came up this afternoon, could serve the first approach quite well.

The first draft of my London Bridge (South) journey used a chronological approach to ordering my sound material. This gave my drawn lines a trajectory. I started to imagine my sound composition being played until it met a ‘crossover’ point (denoted by a ‘switch’ below). Here the direction of the journey could change (fading into a different journey composition) or stay on the same route. This could be done quite simply in Max, with or without user input; random numbers and toggle switches.


My mind was brought back to the group crits and the idea of separating my work –  the visual and the audio elements. I imagined having the sound element within a dimly lit room and the visual element outside of the room on a screen. I envisaged the MaxMSP interface as part of the visual element, which the audience could interact with.

I’m wondering if I could import an image of a map into Max/Jitter and incorporate it into the patch, so that I could show the routes, current location and place toggle switches [X] along a route, which could then be tick or unticked and change what will be heard in the room.

I’ll come back to this idea later…

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