Archive

Tag Archives: experimental

1293010_10154749466350018_5846058372063888124_o

Here are some recent photos from Beyond Tinted exhibition which took place between the 19th-23rd of November 2014 at the Modern Art Museum, Yerevan MAMY.  These works I created after participating on the ACSL artist residency here in Yerevan.  Through the support from the residency as well as ECF Labs which helped fund my time here in Yerevan.

Beyond Tinted consisted of four series of work incorporating past and present processes and mediums.  The works developed on previous themes and new concepts researched whilst here in Yerevan.

U – DYS – HET
(Audio/Visual Digital Collage)

Watchers
(Digital Prints)

Folded Control
(Mixed Media)

Contained Spaces
(Mixed Media Sculptures)

10389653_10154749467175018_4191431715388418230_n10330343_10154749465815018_5571369004674852996_n1477499_10154749464375018_2176166318387510977_n  
1920436_10154749469395018_5353801186554581452_n
10348600_10154749472665018_558532457598479058_n 10352824_10154749469055018_1589276829693757951_n 1506014_10154749464930018_1150605417368157902_n
10394648_10154749468265018_5099221844969522900_n

10425364_10154749470800018_4864996841876695381_n

Advertisements

Morton Subotnick’s Silver Apples of the Moon: ‘It blew my mind!’

Fifty years ago, Morton Subotnick inadvertently invented techno with his ‘electronic music box’, the Buchla synthesiser. Now, he’s revisiting the piece for the Adelaide festival.
Milton Subotnick

‘I wasn’t on drugs when I make it’ … Morton Subotnick with a re-creation of the Buckla synth.

In 1967, the American composer Morton Subotnick released a record called Silver Apples of the Moon. It was the first electronic album ever to be commissioned by a classical record label, and it is still revered among synth gurus for containing the seeds – or possibly the pips – of techno.

Now 80 years old, though looking at least 20 years younger, Subotnick has flown halfway round the world, from his home in New York to Australia, to perform Silver Apples of the Moon in its entirety at theAdelaide festival. But what he’s really excited about is a new app he has created that enables kids to create their own electronic compositions on an iPad.

The app – called Pitch Painter – could be seen as the fulfilment of Subotnick’s prophecy, made in the 1960s, that one day every living room would contain a synthesiser. Having downloaded the app, I’m eager to play him the jaunty little electro-nursery rhyme I’ve come up with. “That’s very good,” he says. “A three-year-old could have done it,” I reply.

“That’s exactly the point. It’s a way of enabling kids to create music intuitively, without standard notation getting in the way. You wouldn’t prevent children from expressing themselves in paint before they’ve learned to draw, so why shouldn’t they be able to compose without reading music?”

Subotnick himself studied music at Mills College in Oakland, California, where his fellow students included future minimalists Terry Riley andSteve Reich. He was all set for a career as a clarinettist, but his interest in electro-acoustic music led to the establishment of the San Francisco Tape Music Centre in 1961, with fellow musician Ramon Sender. The two men dreamed of creating compositions with sounds no conventional acoustic instrument could produce. So, with a $500 grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, Subotnick commissioned electronics wizard Don Buchla to build an “electronic music box”.

For his performance of Silver Apples of the Moon, Subotnick will be using a modern re-creation of the first Buchla synthesiser (the original is now in the Library of Congress). It looks more like a miniature telephone exchange than an instrument, which may explain why it never really caught on. Shortly after it appeared, Robert Moog debuted an alternative that was adopted by the likes of Pete Townshend, Micky Dolenz and Wendy Carlos, whose Switched-On Bach, recorded on a Moog, became one of the biggest-selling classical releases of all time. Not that Subotnick was impressed. “I could never see the point in playing old music on a new invention,” he says. “If I’m going to play Bach, I’d rather use a harpsichord.”

The Buchla might not have caught on, but that didn’t stop Subotnick making full use of it. Almost 50 years on, Silver Apples of the Moon still sounds arrestingly contemporary. The piece is in two parts: the first is slower, moodier and full of profound, synthetic sighs, like a robot in despair; then in the second half, something extraordinary happens – the music suddenly develops a pulse and climaxes in the frenzied hammering of proto-club rhythms.

This had simply never been heard before. Early electronic compositions were mostly about sine waves, oscillations, timbre – all devoid of rhythm, by and large. Yet, says Subotnick, his discovery of beats happened almost by accident. “In the early days, it took a long, long time – sometimes even days – to programme a sequence. Quite unintentionally, I found I had created this pulsating rhythm. I started grooving with it – and it blew my mind.”

And quite a lot of other minds, too. Silver Apples swiftly became an essential psychedelic soundtrack. “I certainly wasn’t on drugs when I made it,” he says. “I was working too hard. But I’d been staging multimedia performances with dance companies using projections and coloured oils since the early 60s, which was several years before psychedelia is supposed to have started.”

Even the album’s trippy title is perhaps a little less trippy than it appears: Subotnick took it from Yeats’s poem The Song of Wandering Aengus: “The silver apples of the moon, the golden apples of the sun.” As Subotnick says, “It doesn’t really mean anything. I just liked the sound of it.”

More innovations followed. Subotnick’s 1994 work All My Hummingbirds Have Alibis was the first interactive concert to be conceived for CD-Rom. And in 1995, he produced the first of his children’s works, Making Music, which might be described as the young person’s guide to the sequencer.

But it’s Silver Apples he will always be most closely associated with – and that suits him fine. “It’s not a bad little piece,” he says. “It’s like a jazz composition. I’ll start out with some of the familiar riffs, then just improvise. It keeps on changing whenever I perform it.”

• Silver Apples of the Moon is at the Adelaide festival on Friday, 7 March. The festival runs until 16 March (adelaidefestival.com.au). Alfred Hickling’s flights were provided by Emirates.

WORKSHOP DAY 8 – FINAL PROTOTYPE

Re-blogged from Sound Tectonics Blog

6-struct

The concept of the final prototype was developed around the matter of collective experience through auditory senses. The goal was to reinforce the user’s empathy and communication with space and inhabitants through emotional canals. Memory was considered to be the key element that could lead to stronger social bonds so as to reactivate the urban space as a place of interaction. Transforming the observer in to a listener and the act of listening in to an active agent of cross-fertilization, we pursuit a feedback that triggers one’s personal experience of collective awareness.

DSC_2477

Working  on  the  metropolitan  city  of  Athens as the  case  study, we  strategically  divided  the  city  in  layers  that  represented different  ambiences  according  to topography, built environment  and  voids, natural  elements  and  inhabitants. The analysis of each area was achived by documentation process recordings, to represent the relationships between site specificity and our final prototype of an artificial interactive environment.

4-struct

67

Through a critical engagement with technology, the Sound Tectonics team created an interactive environment that was build upon the idea of using one’s own experience as the influential agent that ‘organically’ emerges from the navigation of the user within the structure. Five boxes of different sizes were placed in different distances from each other, each representing one of the previously analyzed areas of the city. Their different volumes were reflecting the diverse perception of distances between the sound source and the position of the listener.

214

2455

As part of one system created and installed in an indoor space with the absence of light, the interactive environment used controlled light sources as an inviting component that attracts people to enter part of their body in each hollow box structure. Eager to become part of the experience, the visitors were triggering motion sensors that in their part, were turning the lights off to give their turn to reproduced and edited sounds of the city. In this system, light and darkness were reversely related to sound and silence. The chosen sounds were manipulated in order to expose some highlights of our city drift, incorporating the city’s ambient sounds. One’s own experience could affect the listening experience of the rest of the users. This state was noticeable only when all boxes were occupied, through reproduction of an ironic composition of sounds that suggested enforcement power contradicting with sounds of individual joy. A composition that aimed to highlight the political extend of a social gathering that is occasionally considered by police to be a threatening constitution, especially in the so-called, by some,  ’wastelands’ of the urban environment.

24

245

The visitor’s experience was based on their physical presence in space, together with their acoustic experience. In this way we meant to isolate the senses, only to combine them again when they all reach the state of starting to experience a social assembly. Along these lines, laid one of the main notions of the project that is to force the user to re-evaluate his sensory perceptions and understand the social impact that these may have. This chain reaction contributes to the formation of an emotional state, based not only on memories, but on gathering empirical evidence of how we could effectively reconnect with spaces and people around us.

Project Team :

Tutors: Daniel Canogar, Javier Pena Galiano, Jon Goodbun, John Grzinich, Santiago Vilanova, Nota Tsekoura, Nastazia Spyropoulou, Anna Laskari, Tassos Kanelos

Participants: Ioli Belezini, Natalie Barton, Daphne Dimopoulou, Maria Galani, Yoranda Kassanou, Marirena Kladeftira, Konstantinos Kosmas, Dimitrios Mavrokefalos, Dickie Webb

Special thanks to: Konstantinos Souvatzoglou, Marilena Georgatzi, Nileta Kotsikou

Venue: The British Hellenic College -Athens

Raw sounds from Sound Tectonics workshop research could be found at:  sound tectonics soundcloud and at Radio Aporee  maps under the search : sound tectonics

Sample sound from sound tectonics field recordings:

P1180271 20

I am well over half way through my residency here in Athens.  The experience has given me time to reflect and focus not just on the proposed new works I hope to start working on but give me new perspectives on continuing themes within my practice.  The city has given me plenty more new ideas for future works and added to existing ideas, bolstering concerns ongoing.

As I posted recently I attended Urban Lightscapes Symposium which definitely gave me a wake up on certain areas of my practice and again reminded me to consider a wider practice.  This past weekend I started some workshops for the upcoming Sound Tectonics that is happening this coming week.  These workshops introduced both Processing and Arduino which I have used before but allowed me to understand further the benefits of such tools.  The workshops were long but really good and I feel a little more capable with these tools now, even considering future projects using Processing that prior to these I would of tried other methods first.  So I am getting excited for the whole week coming up which should give me new thoughts and ideas as to where I am going with sound within my practice.

The Glitch works I have been working on have started to come together.  I have had to really think before starting these new works of how to order my process.  Considering a language that will allow me to find each sample and know where I found it and where I could use it.  This has meant I have had to label each sample either using a systematic approach of 1-28/A-S or more descriptive BW Slow Fade Whisper Crackles, Silent Double Beeps.  I have attached a test run of a track that I am in the process of putting together based of the image above.  The abandoned airport here in Athens, Ellinikon.  The track uses 12 samples currently of this image mainly Black and White though some colour samples as well.  I have not yet used any effects on these samples so the track is pure Glitch image with only the volume adjusted.  Have a listen and let me know what you think, I will post the track in its next form once I use a bit of artistic license and use effects to manipulate the sounds a little and add some midi samples.