COMPEL Omeka Dev

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  • Using samples recorded in the University of Iowa’s anechoic chamber and constructed in Max, the title references the algorithmic nature of the coded probabilities.
  • “along the eaves” is part of a series that focuses on my interest in translational procedures and machine listening. It takes its name from the following line in Franz Kafka’s “A Crossbreed [A Sport]” (1931, trans. 1933): “On the moonlight nights its favorite promenade is along the eaves.” To compose the work, I developed custom software written in the programming languages of C and SuperCollider. I used these programs in different ways to process and sequence my source materials, which, in this case, included audio recordings of water, babies, and string instruments. Like other works in the series, I am interested in fabricating sonic regions of coincidence, where my coordinated mix of carefully selected sounds suggests relationships between the sounds and the illusions they foster.
  • “OSCines” focuses on the process of translating melodies found in birdsongs. The nightingale belongs to the clade Passeri also commonly known as Oscine, from the Latin root oscen meaning “a songbird.” Its birdsong is composed of a wide range of whistles, trills, and gurgles, which create a rich and vibrant melodic contour. Nightingale and clarinet samples serve as source and target materials (interchangeably) for spectral information collected via signal-processing detection systems. “OSCines” explores the alignment and collisions of distinct timbre features and melodic topologies within the virtual aviary of the speaker space.
  • “Densité” was written in the audio software languages of SuperCollider and Paul Koonce’s PVC. “Densité” documents the interactions between the density of samples being selected and the dimensions of the space in which they are realized. Depending on particular sets of heuristics, different exponential models and soundscape audio files determine percussion sample playback parameters which are, in turn, recorded. These audio segments are then convolved with varying types of impulses responses, resulting in different sonic spaces. “Densité” focuses on subverting the inherent sonic qualities of percussion instruments as a result of temporal sequence and their individual placement within particular spaces.
  • “BabyBirdBeat” is an étude inspired by a quote from artist Bruce Nauman: “And sometimes the question that you pose or the project that you start yourself turns into something else, you know, but at least it gets you started.” (Art21, 2001)
  • Mythical Spaces explores the intersection of myth and place. Mythical spaces are imaginary, real, natural and human-made. They are the sites of mythical events and bridges to the spiritual world. Sonically, Mythical Spaces captures the essence of each space as well as its mythical significance by reproducing material physicality through the use of a different featured “vessel” in each movement.

    i) Underground
    People and gods used to live underground until they emerged from the depths and into our world. These myths are prevalent in the American southwest as well as the Trobriand Islands. This movement explores the idea of the subterranean world as primordial, where the emergence into our world represents a journey from darkness to light.

    ii) Water
    The “earth-diver” myth, where a being dives to the bottom of the ocean to grab a particle of sand that will be used to create the Earth is one of the most diffuse and common origin myths in the world. This movement sonically retells the narrative of the creation of the Earth—from a single particle to shimmering harmonic landscape.

    iii) Forest
    From Sub-Saharan Africa to Japan, forests are viewed as sacred by cultures worldwide. Animist beliefs imbue the individual elements of the forest with living spirits. These forests may be viewed as natural temples, places where humans can enter the supernatural world. Wind rustling through the trees and an environment rich with the energy of spirits pervade this movement.

    iv) Mountain
    Valhalla, Mt. Everest, Mt. Olympus, Mt. Denali, and Mt. Fuji are examples of mythical and real mountains that are considered sacred. Mountains are home to the gods. Evoking a sense of heroism, this movement contains the sounds of dramatic rumbling gestures broadcast over great distances.

    v) Temple
    Earthly temples have their duplicates in the transcendental sphere—the heavens. The temple represents the efforts of more centralized societies (more “civilized” in the non-pejorative sense) to build a bridge to a mythical place. This movement employs sounds of sacred instruments and a strong element of ritual that constructs a ceremony of transcendence.

    Mythical Spaces was written in 2010 for percussionist Shawn Savageau.

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