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.

“Clock-Pot”

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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Reflections on losing my work

November 10, 2008 at 1:40 pm (Experiments, Reflections & Planning)

Many weeks have passed since the robbery, but it’s only these last few days that I’ve regained a sense of mental balance and the motivation to work again. The loss of my computer, my work, has felt like a loss of self. I have been in limbo, utter perplexed by the situation. The accumilation of time spent focusing my conscious thought within the computer – developing ideas, reflecting on my progress, learning about myself – was initially the hardest thing to come to terms with when it happened.

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I’ve tried to console myself explaining to many a sympathetic ear that this time spent has not been wasted. My mind can still access all the growth I’ve experienced through my interactions with my now absent machine, everything I’ve learnt through the process of creation is still tangible, it simply doesn’t exist in material form anymore. Much of my work has been reduced to a memory, a figment of my past accessable only through my imagination, its ephemeral qualities solidified under the guise of a drug-fuelled theivery. I have the name of the man who did it; traces of blood splattered against the curtain and murky finger prints on the window sill, his downfall. Hopes of my computer being salvaged however, have all but faded into nothingness.

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Since it happened I’ve been searching within myself for comfort, as well as outwards towards friends and family. I’ve tried to take many a positive stance on events, but have always returned to a state of numbness, of dislocation, whenever left to my own devices. This natural tendency to distance myself from what has happened and let my mind seap slowly into a negative refrain is something I’ve done before. This time however my emotional self-awareness is more acute and I have the ability to transform this negativity into positivity. I must embark from this present moment, ground zero, with a fresh perspective. It seems as though this is the perfect time for me to push my work and myself further than I have done before. This is an awakening of the mind, an opportunity to reaffirm my beliefs in the importance of art, the neccessity of creation.

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I will make use of these images, creating a new work born out of the horror that has befallen me. Art is therapy, art is understanding, art is the transformation of one’s perspective…

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A few ideas…

October 1, 2008 at 5:36 pm (Experiments, Reflections & Planning)

Clap Space (part 2)

I started working some more on this piece, which is composed using 9 single claps that I made during my journeys. If I were to take it further I’d elaborate on the rhythmic element, as well as working hard on the material to create more dynamic gestures and relationships between sounds.

The Why of Ray Bedingo

Me and Chris put ours heads together, as well as several pots and pans, and created all the sound material used in this organic offkey-techno groove!

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TZ animation

September 6, 2008 at 12:10 pm (Experiments, Reflections & Planning)

Been working on this animation with my good friend Tage:

We’re currently trying to approach different ways of using stop-frame animation. This is quite new to us, so it’s been a great experience, especially since we’ve been creating the material outside of the computer. We intend to build a library of these different experiments, eventually using them to create a single composition, which we will then make music too.

I’m sure a lot of the techniques and creative & collaborative processes will inform my MA project also. I will continue to reflect upon this as the work progresses.

08.09.20

Each session we try a different approach. This was our latest effort, think it turned out really well!

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Imagined Space

August 27, 2008 at 1:42 pm (Experiments, Reflections & Planning)

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Clock-Pot

August 21, 2008 at 6:12 pm (Experiments, Reflections & Planning)

… and with narration:

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Music making

August 4, 2008 at 11:39 am (Experiments, Reflections & Planning)

I’ve been working on a few new pieces these last few days.

The one that I want to talk about here is a piece using drums (congos and bongos):

I used the same over-dubbing techniques I’ve being utilizing recently to gradually build up a groove. After reaching a point where I was happy with it, I decided to continue the rest of the piece within the computer, using digital editing techniques. I used the method of not going back and editing previous sections and only using material from the previous 16 bars to create the next. I also limited myself to solely using audio editing techniques and no plug-in effects. So, I could only rearrange the syntax of the audio, layer it in different ways, reverse it or pan it. As the piece progressed I wanted to gradually turn the natural sound of the groove in to a heavily digitally edited one. I feel this was quite successful. By the end of the piece the rhythm is still retained, but the timbre of the sound has transformed heavily from drums.

Recently I’ve been leaning more and more towards making music outside of the computer, for the reason that when creating music inside it you get detached from the physical act of sound-making. This has made me think about my approach to using my collected material from the soundscape. I need to develop ways to make the process of music composition feel as natural playing an instrument. It makes me think I need to spend much more time with MaxMSP over the next few months, then I have over the last year!

Ideally I’d like to compose my pieces, or at least try out ideas, within the actual spaces themselves. I could perhaps bring composed sound with me to play back in these spaces….

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New Space

July 31, 2008 at 5:21 pm (Experiments, Reflections & Planning)

I moved house 2 weeks ago. I am very much enjoy my new environment and am feeling motivated and productive. After sorting out the clutter that intially inhabited my room, I began to realise how wonderful the space is. High ceilings, lots of natural light, mountains of space! My mind somehow feels like it has more freedom.

I’ve spent the last 2 days experimenting with overdubbing again – making one composition from several layers of improvised drums. What was interesting was not so much the drums themselves, but the soundscape behind it. Each time I played what I recorded back in to my room and recorded a new layer, the sonic activity outside my window was different; The deafening screech of a car suddenly breaking, an Icecream van playing Bells of St. Clements, people passing-by, all these unexpected sounds became part of the composition too. All these layers of time eventually captured in one min long composition – time condensed.

After finishing the piece, I took a break and went to Clissold Park. There I noticed how tranquil it was, the traffic distant, asides from the two police sirens that were circling the area. I went back home and decided to add this to the drum composition. I was interested in documenting the days sonic activity in one composition. This might evolve in to an approach towards my final compositions, capturing the sonic narrative of one days journey.

Another experiment I did was over-dubbing again. This time in my bathroom, which has fantastic acoustics! This time I only used my mouth to produce the soundl; beatbox, sung ‘ahhhh’ notes, baselines and some silliness! It was refreshing. What was interesting about this experiment was that each time I played a recording back in to the space and recorded a new layer, you could hear less of the last and more of the acoustic space of the bathroom.

Essentially, with each new playback-recording the sound was reinforcing the resonant frequencies of the space and accentuates them. If I continued this indefinately, at some point all the original sound would disappear and you would only hear the resonant frequencies of the space stimulated by the sounds that occured in it. This is what happens in Alvin Lucier’s “I am Sitting in a Room”;

This use of space I find interesting. It’s made me think of the final show and utilizing the acoustic characteristics of a particular space for my installation. If I had a space to work with over the next year, I could work closely with the space in developing my sonic composition and use it’s resonant frequencies and nuances to maximum effect.

Also, maybe there’s some way I can do this record-playback in public spaces, so I could eventually capture the acoustic characteristics of the spaces I find. However, it would involve playing back at high volumes – I don’t think people would be too happy about that! There may also be a way of using Logic’s space designer to model the acoustic properties of a space. I shall research this.

Now I’ve settled down in my new surroundings and my schedule has calmed down, I shall begin planning my course of action over the next year. There is much for me to be getting on with, so I must remain focused and hardworking.

How I deal with time within my composition is becoming more important to me. Further reading will encourage the growth of new perspectives.

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Sharing Time

July 31, 2008 at 4:38 pm (Experiments, Reflections & Planning)

Happy Birthday to me!

Much has been happening in the last few months; New Creative Ventures course, helping for the MA show and finally moving house!

During the last few weeks I’ve been aquainting myself with the local area (Islington), as well as making some new music. I’ve begun exploring the use of space within my sonic composition in different ways and also using some of the audio recordings I’ve made on my journeys thus far.

Firstly, I will reflect upon the Golden Jubilee Bridge composition, which I made for a dear friend of mine who’s leaving London. We spent some time there together and I recorded the sound of steel drums being played, whilst we had a conversation. I can return mentally to that shared moment on the bridge through the recording. Through creating the composition I feel I have somehow captured the sun drenched, playful ambience of the bridge at that particular moment in time. However, the feelings that I place on the sound recording has also been defined by the interactions between us. The space has become defined not only by the sonic activity that took place, but by the social too.

Making the composition was as enjoyable as it was healing. It was also interesting for me because the piece developed naturally due to my process and allowed me to express myself with more freedom. After spending much time building up quite a somber and melancholic groove in the first section of the piece, I decided that I had dwelled upon the feeling for too long and needed to move forward. So, I bounced down the 2mins or so that I had made and improvised with it using feedback (via my mixer).

After recording this improv, I opened a new Logic session and placed it inside, along with the original bounce. From here I used my technique of not going back and editing the previous session, instead limiting myself to the produced material thus far. This was refreshing and took the composition in a different direction. The second half of the composition envelops the listener in quite a deep ambient space (using reverb), from which the joyful steel drums emerge, dancing, tranquil. The sadness expressed through the first section gets washed away by the passing of a car on a rain covered road and through the repeatition of a moment shared, with the steel drums in the background. Finally, the moment decends deeper in to the reverberant space and a different moment experienced on the bridge emerges. Another time, another ambience, a different feeling captured in the same space; it’s all part of the bridges wider sonic narrative, an endless stream which is constantly evolving, just waiting for people to experience or share moments in time together.

Excerpt:

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May-June sequenced & Planning ahead

June 28, 2008 at 12:01 pm (Experiments, Reflections & Planning)

Now that I’ve finished the NCV course and there are only a few days left to help set up the final show, I feel I can plan my work schedule for the summer. The above time plan, though quite regemented, was extremely useful. I colour coded different activities and planned weeks ahead in advance so that I knew precisely how much time I had to work on my project (both Uni and NCV), as well as other things.

Over the summer, from July-mid September, I have to do the following things:

1 – move house (mid-July)

2 – develop work for the intrim show, which can also function as my prototype for unit 2 assessment.

3 – engage in a bit more contextual research. (though this can carry on post-September)

4 – try out other ideas and experiments that can inform my current practise

I imagine I will spend the majority of my working on 2, but I’ll see how things work out post-move. I intend to spend 30-40 hours a week on my MA project now, since I feel I’ve lost some time in undertaking the NCV course.

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