The Wi(Fi)tching Hour

Another seance (or, rather 4 of them) at the RA, this time in the dead of night crossing the witching hour. The spirits are angry, there is noise, we attempt to calm them with a custom glockenspiel, there is more noise.

Spectral Resynthesis

A Drum Loop & Spectral Audio Resynthesis (via this lovely tool), added too many layers and the computer broke down. Which is appropriate.

Network Seance

An audio-visual network seance, with Francesco and I channeling the Wi-Fi spirits through the Network Ensemble, possesing keyboards, amps, a glockenspiel and even visual software. You hear, to begin, the raw pulses the ensemble outputs, looping through the different categories of data. Then, leaving one in, we bring in the solenoids – playing the glockenspiel – and the MIDI keyboard, controlled by various ports.

Footage from the second live performance with the Network Ensemble, on 01/07/15 (part of An Evening With Gekiyasu and Friends).

More about the Network Ensemble

Stockhausen / Process

1952 I started working in the studio for musique concrete, of the
French radio. Because I was very intrigued by the possibility to compose
one’s own sound. I was allowed to work in the studio of Pierre Scaeffer: I
made artificial sounds, synthetic sounds, and I composed my first étude:
Étude Concrète. At the same time, I was extremely curious, and went to the
musée de L’homme in Paris with a tape recorder and microphones, and I
recorded all the different instruments of the ethnological department:
Indonesian instruments, Japanese instruments, Chinese instruments; less
European instruments because I knew them better, but even piano sounds…
Then I analysed these sounds one by one, and wrote down the frequencies
which I found and the dynamic level of the partials of the spectra, in order
to know what the sound is made of, what the sound is, as a matter of fact;
what is the difference between a lithophone sound or, let’s say, a Thai gong
sound of a certain pitch. And very slowly I discovered the nature of sounds.
The idea to analyse sounds gave me the idea synthesize sounds. so then I was
looking for synthesizers or the first electronic generators, and I
superimposed vibrations in order to compose spectra: timbres. I do this now,
still, after 43 years.

– From Karlheinz Stockhausen, ‘Advice for Clever Children’

Audio Convolution (Processing Test)

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 22.52.22

Using Processing and its color datatype (an integer, ARGB ordered, with 8 bits per channel) for convolution. Creates a much noisier, colourful output – but with too little resemblance to the source image to be useful.

Amazing patterns though.

Granular Synth 01

From a day of Arduino synth hacking/making, we make these noises.

Human Harp

The harp looked beautiful intersecting with the steel cables of the bridge across the Manhattan skyline.  Dancer Hollie told us that she felt an intuitive connection to the harp straight away and instantly got lost in exploration of strings and movement

From: humanharp.org/

Methods and Technologies for Extracting Sounds. One.

A parabolic microphone for hearing sounds over distance ( in this case music on MP3 player headphones from 100ft away).

A solderless method of creating a robust contact microphone from a piezo (lots of hot glue…)

Cup + Pip + Software

Using a granular synthesis patch for PureData ( from pd-tutorial.com ) I’ve been making noise tapping around a laptop’s microphone.

A pip in a coffee cup provides a scraping, scratching sound that’s amplified and changed through this to sound like water (as granular synthesis often seems to).