Showing posts from 2011


A short excerpt from my Telemusic final performance...

This is part of our main project this year, Kinecraft.  Here is a link to the project abstract:
Here is a link that includes full performance audio:


Rehearsal for a collaborative project in Telemusic class this past semester. This video was taken from the Syneme Lab at the University of Calgary. A laptop orchestra from Mcmaster University in Ontario was accompanying this performance.   

    This class consisted of a couple students with art & music backgrounds as well as computer science. The synthesis of interdisciplinary knowledge was key in the creation of our final project. Those who weren't as capable of writing code made up for it sampling sounds, writing music, working in Ableton Live, etc. On the other hand, the few without much of a background in the arts handled the necessary programming tasks/problems with exceptional accuracy. 

    I enjoyed learning about the process that goes on behind a live networked performance. I can only see this type of networked collaboration increasing in popularity. Our instructor Ken Fields, (the Canadian Research Chair in Telemedia Arts,) taught us all about the Syneme Lab at the…

Plugging in, Tuning out

Considering the current technological environment we are living in, vast amounts of information can be accessed at our fingertips instantly. The internet has broken down space and removed time from our lives, enabling us with abilities brought about in science fiction novels mere decades ago. The methods with which we consume music have changed drastically due to new technology. Not only do we acquire and share it differently, we’ve actually begun listening differently. Through reference of specific theories from various culture critics as well as my own research in music psychology, I’ll attempt to explain how portable media devices have changed our perception of music.
            As mp3 players became popular, more people started casually listening to music. Certainly, music was popular before this, but the ease and portable nature of the mp3 player increased the overall amount of music being consumed and subsequently altered our listening habits. Portable walk-mans and cd players …


I developed this color wheel idea over the semester to see what kind of connections I could make between sounds and different shades of color. Working in MaxMSP, with the help of one of my instructors we built a prototype for my idea. You'll notice a list of numbers in the right hand corner. Those numbers are RGB data from where my cursor is clicking on the color wheel. Those numbers are converted into MIDI data and sent to a program called Absynth. The two programscommunicate back and forth this way and the audio is routed out of absynth. Right now it's working kind of like an instrument. There's still alot of tinkering to do within the patch to manipulate absynth with more control. I'll eventually apply some of my research from this term towards specific sound - color relationships. 

Portable Music

As mp3 players became popular, more people started casually listening to music. Certainly, music was popular before this, but the ease and portable nature of the mp3 player increased the overall amount of music being consumed and subsequently altered our listening habits. Portable walk-mans and cd players became archaic quickly as we could now store a variety of albums in a sleek, pocket-sized device - doubtfully more appealing than carrying a bag full of cd’s around, incase you wanted to hear something other than the album you left home with. Not to mention the stylability of these devices, due to the over-fetishized qualities they contain. Some people aren’t even listening; they’re functioning entirely as fashion accessories or status symbols. They’re often used as deterrents as well, suggesting that if someone is plugged in they’re occupying one of their senses and therefore excluding themselves from the reality they’re otherwise totally a part of. All of a sudden we have access to…


Recently I've been thinking of ways in which portable media devices have changed our perception of music. 
I read something about Jonathan Berger, a music professor at Stanford, about a little test he puts his incoming students through at the start of every year. He gives them a variety of music to listen to and then asks them to rate the songs in terms of highest and lowest quality. What he's found is that the mp3 formatted songs are on a steady incline to becoming most favorable over the other songs with superior audio quality. So this is kind of strange... Even music students would prefer the compressed, low bit mp3 sound vs. a song with much more dynamic range! Uncompressed audio on a CD has a bit rate 12 times as much as an average mp3! It seems as if the "mp3 player" (and it's stylishness) has had an inadvertent effect on our generation of music listeners. Perhaps we've become so accustomed to the lack of quality that our ears have tuned out the imperfec…

Aural Architecture

A general knowledge of physical acoustic properties is definitely an asset to anyone involved in sound related work. An interesting place to start could be acoustic concert halls and the science behind the aural - architectural relationship.

    Wallace Sabine designed Boston Symphony Hall in 1900 which was the first Music Hall built with acoustic engineering principles applied to it's architecture. His calculations on ideal reverberation time laid the foundations for architectural acoustics. Today, additional factors outside the realm of sound dispersion/physics are considered such as the subjective preferences of listeners and performers.
    Things like Initial Time Delay Gap and Clarity Index are taken into account and used to measure direct and reflected sound. A direct sound is a pure tone without any audial pollution. An orchestra depends heavily on direct sound for added clarity to the listeners however reflected sound can add richness to musical tones. Reflected sound c…


I built a color/sound wheel using cocoa for artists. Basically, I'm telling the cursor to log the rgb data that it's hovering over and then trigger samples I've loaded into the resources folder based on whatever color data is logged. 
The ultimate goal is to allow the user to record their own sounds and place them where they feel fit, but for now I'll be playing with my own soundfiles.

in relation to

In a current project of mine I'm trying to develop an interactive color wheel that produces sound based on RGB color data. I'm also building a sound library of different tones and effects that I hope to incorporate into some of the wheels. I think that due to the subjectiveness of a sound - emotion relationship, I may try to enable the viewer to upload their own sounds into each wheel to either prove or disprove a pattern in the relationship. I'll put up some samples soon...

I'm interested in learning what happens to people while they experience music & sound; what specific role sound & music has on human consciousness and what happens to musicians as they create music, like during an improvised jazz solo for example. I'm waiting on a few music psychology books that will hopefully lead me through my research this semester. Also a book suggested to me called "The Feeling of What Happens" by Antonio Damasio.

An interesting site with some visual-music info:
Here are some interesting theories I've stumbled upon...
Shepard Tone: 

Damasio quotes T.S Eliot on consciousness saying that it is "music heard so deeply, that it is not heard at all."