Progress, process & scaling down !

February 19, 2009 at 11:50 am (Artists Statement & Reflection, Logic Progress)

I’ve spent the last few days finishing off preparing my sound material collected from the 6 journeys I’ve done so far.

It has taken slightly longer than expected, but the extra time has definitely been worth it. Through the use of re-sampling techniques, I’ve found that I can create an abundance of material to work with. The longer I spend listening and extracting the interesting moments in each recording, the better the results.

Thus far I’ve created 100 sampler instruments in Logic, which I can play and manipulate using my midi keyboard. My work flow is building up momentum, helped by organisation, process and also subverting process!


I make notes as I work on sounds, take screenshots, make drawings and mind-maps. Occasionally I get tired of using similar processes each time I am preparing sounds, so I try and experiment with new ways of cutting & re-sampling, to keep myself interested. Usually, after I’ve made a small batch of instruments I’ll improvise with them and do a few quick sketches. This is good motivation for continuing the preparation task, and allows me to assess whether or not the sound recording made is actually workable!


As I’ve been creating and improvising with the instruments I’ve made, I’ve come to realise that the study of urban spaces and their character can be explored at home. Now, each sound has a space attached to it in my minds eye. With each mutation and variation on the sound, this space begins to take on a whole new form. I may not need to revisit spaces after all, as the memories of a space still resonate strongly within my mind when I’m working with the sound recorded there.


A few weeks ago I was trying to think about linking together my separate journeys through the City. This lead me to think I needed to carry on making lots of additional ‘sub’ journeys on foot, physically piecing together my routes and also covering more of the urban soundscape.

However, I’m finding I can reconnect my separate routes mentally, since there are many ways to coherently link different sounds within the digital domain. For example;

Linking journeys with my Impulse Response Clap Reverb’s

e.g. Through the use of IR Reverb on both A & B , I can create a continuity between sounds, since they will be linked in sonic character through the effect.

sound A

space A1

sound B

space B1

state – description

1 – A

2 – A + A1

3 – A1

4 – A1 + B1

5 – B1

6 – B+ B1

7 – B

I was thinking of this in terms of my MaxMSP structure idea;

Say if sound A is from journey 1 composition and sound B is from journey 2 composition, you could create a link-way between the two compositions.


* the dotted lines are journeys 1 and 2 !

There are other ways to link material, such as through similar sound sources (seagulls link to seagulls, football matches link to football matches, etc).


I’ve realised that as I’ve been working on this project, I’ve been striving for some kind of completeness in my final outcome. This completeness, I previously thought, would come from embarking on more and more journeys and getting an all encompasing view of what London’s soundscape is.

However, time is of the essence. The more journeys I do, the more material I’ll have to work through, which in turn leads to less time for me to work on the compositions themselves. Spending time on my composition is really important to me. I’d rather make 12 journey compositions in great detail, as opposed to 24 in half the detail. Also, with the way I’m thinking of structuring the piece within MaxMSP, new routes could be added further down the line if need be – maybe even post-MA. I feel this project could keep growing!

So my new plan is to complete 6 more journeys (from bridges) by the 1st week of march, and leave it at that for the moment.


It’ll take me another week or so preparing this new material, then I’ll concentrate on the compositions and MaxMSP work.


Each sound can have a life of its own. Each sound can move, transform and mutate into a plethora of shapes and forms. These new manifestations of the sounds from London’s soundscape, can embark on journeys of their own, they are free.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: