I rediscovered a recording of a Metasense performance (Somaya Langley and Nick Mariette) from Electrofringe 2005. This was a surround sound performance - after some last minute speaker hauling by Govinda and others - and some channels were missing from the recording, but i was able to recover this nice extract and render it as a binaural file. enjoy!
Archive for April, 2007
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Tonight I rediscovered some photos I took in around 2001 on an old Minolta SLR and my first digital camera… that i put online some time ago at photo.net. Here are three highlights:
The old Broadway Squats in Ultimo, before the boring new apartments were built a few years ago. There are some other nice pix of the squats surroundings on the photo.net page.
… and one of my favourite old buildings of Darlington - near Redfern Station, at the top of Lawson St, opposite Eveleigh. Also, no longer there, replaced by a forgetable takeaway sandwich shop.
On Friday I played a set at the NOW now series 2007 #6: Surround sound at Lan Franchis. I played using a completely home grown patch made in Pure Data that I set up to perform using my own ambisonic field recordings, b-format surround soundfield manipulation tools, a glitch synthesiser, sound file granulation and loopers, with the interface shown in the screenshot below - with rearrangeable modular abstractions (sub patches) for each process.
These patches are an evolution of the patches I used in my electrofringe performance last october, allowing me to playback and manipulate field recordings and synthetic sound using 1st order b-format signals (4 channel, 3D ambisonic signals), which can be decoded to ANY speaker array or even 2 channel binaural signals for 3d on headphones. A b-format signal represents sounds coming from all directions at once, so it can capture a full 3d space, which is what i’ve been doing with my DIY ambisonic microphone. Another nice feature of b-format is the ability to manipulate the spatiality of the soundfield in ways other than just simple panning - eg, you can smoothly cross-fade from mono through to a fully spatial signal (in a sense, a parameter axis between just the timbre of a sound and the space it occupied), you can rotate the whole soundfield, or focus in on one direction. You can capture these signals with a microphone, or synthesise them by panning mono signals, which I incorporated in my glitcher and the granulation objects.
But enough about the patches, how about the sound?! My set began with abstracted, bassy noise field recordings, started in omni, crossfaded to reveal the spatial signals (though the room didn’t seem to reveal this as much as my loungeroom surround set-up had). I moved towards glitchier events, fed into loopers to set a rhythmic base for changing scene towards granulated recordings of chinese mandolin tuning in a shanghai music store, then morphed towards rain recordings (owned by the doors since riders on the storm, apparently), and into gamelan moments before leaving back out the rainy back door. yep. i was reasonably happy with it, though at times i felt i was spinning too many plates to keep them from wobbling excessively… and some of the hypnotic moments from practice unfortunately eluded me. but ya get that.
if anything, doing this set was most fun because it turned on that need to get more of my ideas out there - such as several that never made it to this gig like the swarming spatialised granulation thing, and physically modeled parameter control … lots of things sitting around in hard to perform proto patches waiting for another day.
nice gig though. Ben’s inner ear mashing mono bass machine was great, and also Sumu and Peter’s fenneszy guitar processed piece to video was very effective contemplation of sonic immersion. look forward to the next one!
Over the easter weekend, Metasense (Somaya Langley and myself) played 3 sound sets in the massively reverberant Gunpowder Gallery at The Great Escape festival. The festival site is Newington Armory and our venue was one of three bunker-like chambers originally used for storing explosives and masterfully set up by Lynda Roberts and her crew of artists.
Room one hosted an array of photographic projections from strobes housed in ammunition boxes, firing flashes of image across the chamber walls and arched ceiling; triggered in apparently random sequence by an old drum machine; accompanied by thin, eerie drones. Room two exhibited colour data projections of human body volumetric data, the architectonic arrangement reinforced by odd surface angles and grids cutting the projected image into polyhedral pixels. Room three housed sound performances for several hours each evening, with fantastic gobo lighting creating a cone and two scanning fans of light across the length of the room towards the entrance, so the viewer walks into the sound chamber approaching this point of infinity at the centre of the beams.
photos: Somaya Langley
Over the three nights, Metasense played two sets of field recordings and a set of bangin’, lush, delay-saturated detroity beats…. all great fun to adapt to the long reverberation of the chamber (5+ seconds?). Any fast sounds were blurred into each other, so drones, blips and earth-shaking bass drops were particularly satisfying to play. A highlight of our sets was the use of anti-war rally recordings: appropriately dissonant to the building’s former purpose. Our audience was mainly transitory, as expected given the gallery presentation of the space, though we had many people stay and listen for quite a while, laying down, sitting up against the walls, or playing with the light. Placed on the floor in the centre of the room, away from the desk of equipment, we also found the performance nicely interactive, with punters checking out what we were doing and asking questions or just flaking out in their charming festival wastedness. It was an enjoyable way to perform.
photo by Etienne Deleflie
Other highlights of the sets - by a collective of 5 or so other soundies - were the lovely use of glitch and loud micro snippets of cds in a set by Dan Conway; an incredible set of long toned singing by a mens choir brought in also by Conway; also a set by Kerry and Lynda of great vocoded drones with bleep and radio transmissions run through a roland space echo. All up, the space was totally inspirational, and the reverberation massive fun to play with, to inform the selection of sounds and production.