writing

j o s e [disquiet0186-myname]

Disquiet Junto Project 0186: My Name
Explore the sonic contours of a word you’ve spelled out loud frequently: your name.
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After the recording and slowing down process, there were a few things about the spoken letters that grabbed by attention. The subtle rhythms were natural starting points, but what really interested me were the the tonal rises and falls, as if each spoken tonal bit operated as a synth tone, with an attack and release, envelope parameters, the oscillating features. I began using different synth parts in Abelton’s Operator, that when layered, would represent different aspects of each letter.

J - a strong attack, the body being slightly damp and rubbery with the ”AY” tone later rising and falling. I messed around the the filter envelopes, pitch settings I found a tiny bit of sawness to be present. Layered harmonic bass note with a saw wave plastic harp towards the tail of the sound.

O - a rubbery sound to it. a bass synth with a resonator was used to add more material to the overall body of the wave. I played with the decay a bit to emulate the rather uneventful tail, leaving it a bit more open. I also layered this with an organ sound and a low sine wave.

S -  “EH” sound with the weak attack was emulated with an organ sound, getting the tonal bit with tweaking the formants. The “ss” portion occurs from the midpoint to the end of the sound, and layered saw waves with added noise provided the necessary effect.


E - soft attack, with fairly consistent rubbery tonality. A saw wave from an organ sample emulated the raspy nature of the tail.

Overall, soft, rubbery with raspy ends that came out kind of bouncy. I decided to go with it and add a few more layers of additive harmonic drumsynth claves, granulated bits of my speaking voice, and melodic tones as the piece progressed.

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More on this 186th Disquiet Junto project (“Explore the sonic contours of a word you’ve spelled out loud frequently: your name”) at:
http://disquiet.com/2015/07/23/disquiet0186-myname/
More on the Disquiet Junto at:
http://disquiet.com/junto/
Join the Disquiet Junto at:
http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/
Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:
http://disquiet.com/forums/

 

Without Fear of Wind or Vertigo_Video Barf 2015

Submission for a local film festival, Video Barf, held on January 30, 2015 at The Fuzz Factory in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The film is an edited reel showing samples from Internet Archive's 35mm Stock Footage collection.

Scenes from the original film real were chosen and written on tiny pieces of paper. The sequence of scenes were determined by chance operations which included drawing these scene names from a bowl.  Glitch edits and montage techniques (Janet Williams) were done first so I would have no knowledge of how the sound would interact before hand. Following the completion of the film, I contributed original sound design to be reflective of the visual effects. The final product came out rather immersive and went over really well at the Festival. We even won an award.

For more on the original film reel including the Creative Commons: Attribution 3.0 license, head over to archive.org.

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pressed-for-space [disquiet0158-syllablegumbo]

Disquiet Junto Project 0158: Syllable Gumbo
The Assignment: Go from noise to signal with words.

1. reading of phrase from article of the st. petersburg times.  every story had mentions of people dying, so the story of a nearby hospital planning to expand seemed the least important. i've always wanted to record in the historic snell arcade, located in downtown st. petersburg. janet williams read the first sentence of the article:

"moffit cancer center officials are considering a plan to replace the pressed for space hospital with a new building that would be more than twice as tall."

2. the recorded phrase was sliced first into 1/64s, then into 1/32s, 1/16s, 1/8s, and lastly 1/4s. although the tiny slices were relatively proportionate, the syllables being sliced were random.

3. a tonal piece was created over the slices.

4. later that day, i returned to the snell arcade and recorded the playback of the tonal piece which was amplified into the space with a battery powered fender mini amp. the distortion sounds are due to the gain and drive of the amp.

5. i walked around the space during the playback, which was recorded with portable field-recorder. in the piece, this creates the rise and fall, a certain physicality of tonal swelling based on distance and direction. in addition to the original (now distorted)  tonal playback, other sounds captured were the ambience of the space, footsteps, cars passing, and voices. upon careful listening, the last sounds of the piece are of a man apologizing because he thought he was in the way.


More on this 158th Disquiet Junto project — “Go from noise to signal with words” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2015/01/08/disquiet0158-syllablegumbo/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

incompossible [disquiet0157-icemusic2015]

Short loops of voice, synth and recorded ice cubes. a contact mic on the glass, along with a portable field-recorder at a distance captured different sonic aspects of the ice, namely the resonance in the glass and room, and the interaction with the glass as a surface. the contact mic recordings, the dirtier of cube sounds, were processed with notch filters. Slight panning was introduced along with additional EQing of the master track.


More on this 157th Disquiet Junto project — “Record the sound of ice in a glass and make something of it.” — at:

disquiet.com/2015/01/01/disquiet0157-icemusic2015/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

disquiet.com/junto

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

disquiet.com/forums/

 

saturnian giraffe [disquiet0154-grooveunlocked]

disquiet junto project 0154: groove unlocked
the assignment: create a track from two locked grooves.

selections:
Davedorgan – 0092-disquiet0153-groovelock
Rpcollier – Alchmin1-disquiet0153-groovelock

i liked how the ambient characteristics were present in these two loops, although they are quiet different.  the interplay of the two locked grooves in composition created nice 'holes' that were filled with a pad which was processed with a combination of filters, giving it a more grainy feeling. convolution reverb techniques and various filters were applied.  rpcollier's groove was processed with a static grind, the percentage of dry/wet static fluctuating as the track progresses.


More on this 154th Disquiet Junto project — “Create a track from two locked grooves” — at:

disquiet.com/2014/12/11/disquie…54-grooveunlocked/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

disquiet.com/junto

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

disquiet.com/forums/

Image associated with this project by Risa:

flic.kr/p/7SVf4L

 

this your house? [disquiet0151-relivingdead]

Score a segment of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead using the movie’s audio as source material.

Only phrases concerning place or location were kept from a segment where Ben, Mr. Cooper, and Tom are discussing the benefits of either staying upstairs or down in the cellar. These phrases were rearranged in a cut-up fashion and panned to each channel.

A drum rack was created from miscellaneous sounds of action extracted from the scene, such as footsteps, doors, and rustling. Due to the quality of the audio, the gain was increased and wispy noise portions were transposed, creating tonal bits that are heard throughout.

More on this 151st Disquiet Junto project — “Score a segment of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead using the movie’s audio as source material” — at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/11/20/disquiet0151-relivingdead/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

Image from the George Romero film Night of the Living Dead.

The pier [disquiet0149-processingthepresent]

Being new to an area provides many opportunities to learn about one's environment. I've done many soundwalks, but not so many in downtown St. Petersburg. It was a beautiful day on Friday and a bike ride over to the Pier was in order. The area has been neglected for some time and plans exist to demolish and redesign some of the structures. I like the idea of capturing the history of a place, whether abandoned or in the process of entropy.

My initial plan was to soundwalk the length of the pier, a paved road that was much longer than I had anticipated. Walking around the Pier building,a five-story inverted pyramid-shaped structure, rendered 4:34 minutes of recording time.  I explored the area a bit more and experimented with the boardwalk at the eastern most edge of the pier. I worked with the 3:19s of walking/recording time which appears in the left channel unedited. Sounds from the nearby International Airport, fisherman talking, the call of seabirds, resonant waves lapping under the concrete pier supports, creaks from the boardwalk, and other site specific field recordings are littered throughout. I also added a few ominous loops that change throughout the length of the walk/track.

In many ways, I feel this particular Disquiet Junto project is an odd extension of some of my work, namely working with the environment and using maps as points of departure for a composition, with field recordings as source material.

The map illustrates different scales of context of the St. Petersburg area. I also incorporated a sense of visual continuation throughout the image, one that reflects the spatiotemporal length of the 'track', both audio and physical motion of walking along the pier.


More on this 149th Disquiet Junto project — “Take a walk around the block and make something from it″ — at:

http://disquiet.com/2014/11/06/disquiet0149-processingthepresent/

More on the Disquiet Junto at:

http://disquiet.com/junto

Join the Disquiet Junto at:

http://soundcloud.com/groups/disquiet-junto/

Disquiet Junto general discussion takes place at:

http://disquiet.com/forums/

Sound and Oneness...or Thirdness

Minimalist composer, Terry Riley:

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"Music can also be a sensual pleasure, like eating food or sex. But its highest vibration for me is that point of taking us to a real understanding of something in our nature which we can very rarely get at. It is a spiritual state of oneness."

Terry Riley's spiritual state of oneness correlates well with an idea presented in a collection of essays entitled REVERBERATIONS: The Philosophy, Aesthetics, and Politics of Noise. This oneness can be seen as a sense of duration, what Henri Bergson calls true being. For Bergson, music removes us from our constructed illusions of quantitative time, or clock time. Rhythm and measure interrupt it and bring us into duration, which is a sensation of time where being and sound form an 'intensity'. This intensity is an idea that occurs both inside and outside duration - as something entering the mind to a degree that measure is lost. It does not reflect merely properties of sounds or a piece of music, but the reception of the input, or how it is received. Somewhat paradoxical... how can music, existing as physical, measurable, organizations of sound, actually breakdown the listener's concept of measure and time? Music, like minimalism, ambient, trance, or noise, employs a purposeful rejection of the time music, or organized sound, structures for us. La Monte Young, another influential minimalist composer, hints at this idea;

"One of the aspects of form that I have been interested in is stasis - the concept of form which is not so directional in time, not so much climatic form, but rather form which allows time to stand still."

Deleuze and Quattari in A Thousand Plateaus, have an interesting take on how time can both move and stop without changing position or halting.

"This proliferation of material has nothing to do with an evolution...It is on the contrary an involution, in which form is constantly being dissolved, freeing times and speeds. It is a fixed plane, a fixed sound plane, or visual plane, or writing plane, etc. here, fixed does not mean immobile: it is the absolute state of movement as well as rest, from which all relative speeds or slowness spring, and nothing but them. " (1988, 267)

It's possible that non-moving music is the goal of 'spiritual' music, to create a trance-like state or to reveal an essence of the emptiness of time. In his essay, A chronic condition: noise and time, Paul Hegarty says the constant flow of music allows for multiplicity of thoughts and sensations, an endless becoming of duration. Bergson's idea of multiplicity of intensity is one of transformation. Deleuze and Quattari extend this thought, where the multiplicity of intensity is one of simultaneity. Deleuze and Quattari view intensity and the quantitative to be transformed into a plateau or rhizome, where connections are reconfigured so as to prevent ideas of meaning or narrative to be formed. This plateau can be seen as a location that allows dwelling, a certain sort of settling.

Dwelling can mean this spiritual state of oneness - particularly in the listener, or "the Other".  For in fact, 'one' sound is made and is perceived/understood by 'two', the Other. Music tends to be about three, or thirdness; about the sea at which communication drifts. If this thirdness is a space or field, it can be experienced, explored, researched, mapped, and designed. It's a dynamic process where the world is re-ordered and re-imagined as it is being presented. It is the fluctuation between movement and non-movement, a 'fixed sound plane'.

To begin, again...at the beginning

I thought I would start by offering more of a foundation for a lot of my ideas, and eventual work and investigations. Although I love what I am getting involved into lately, there is a large part of me that cannot take responsibility for the ideas, as it often feels more of a ‘witnessing’ or discovery rather than creative ownership. I think of Colin Wilson in The Occult:

I ‘pull back’ from life - like a camera taking a long shot with a wide angle lens. I quite simply become aware of more reality than before.

This awareness presents itself as a synthesis of all that I have learned in my own experiences, and the creative endeavors of others… and allows me to fill in gaps and make connections, patterns and conclusions.

Currently, I work at a surveying company in Hudson, OH - a comfortable 20 minute morning drive. I take the back roads avoiding Route 59, and 91 and the hustle and/or bustle of Anywhere Town, USA.  At work, I utilize and develop a virtual software that enables clients to view surveys online, paperless, etc, etc. I do minimal drafting (AutoCAD), boundary calculations, and other odd jobs. But mostly I prepare and review drawings, publishing them to a online server. I find I am extremely lucky to still be able to control my mind listening to music, Ebooks, interviews, lectures, listen to podcasts. At first, I found it hard to shed the Ego of the Architect - but soon fell in love with casual nature of the people I work with and the shear fact of being able to multitask as I see fit, with endless opportunities to expand my understanding of the world with a constant self-bombardment with the use of noise-cancelling headphones.

Music has always been a large part of my understanding and has served as a point of reference, an interpersonal soundtrack, and even the foundation of my experimentation with, well.. a number of things. My parents played instruments, and with the advent of the walkman, portable mp3 players, and headphones, music started to become a large part of how I began thinking for myself. I went to school for architecture, inspired largely on the models and work of my sister Michelle after a single walk through her Ohio University Interior Architecture studio about 6 years ago. Throughout the last four years, in the large studio spaces filled with chatter from many voices, one would usually see me with headphones folding paper at 4 a.m.

Into the infinite abyss, tumble dry not so low, and a some time later I am remain a bit, dare I say…flabbergasted. After graduating, one is inevitably hit with obvious questions hovering around the 'What’s Next' category. Ignoring the convential steps (I think of Talking Heads - Once in a Lifetime) with graduate school right out of the gates, interning… I began to see the intense possibilities of following direct influences, and personal passions falling into place. I've learned that most of my ideas need more space, time, and room to breathe to grow and develop. I took a hard look at what I loved the most, what I remember from being a kid, what I can connect to more than anything.

So, so far we have music, architecture, landscapes, topography, graphic design, technology… I observed one day I am nearly 100% immersed in said topics 18-22 hours a day.  The torrent force of Brain Juice Central 2012 is fast and flowing.

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Kind of perplexed with even more questions and frustrated with the lack of finding a personal connection that I can get behind, I began to research the topics. What an earth-shattering concept. To this day - this highly inconceivable move resonates on the opposite side of the world. Some countries are considering making a national holiday, The Day Jose Got His Head Out of His Ass Day. I bet the parades will be incredible.

First on the list was Resonance, Essays on the Intersections of Music and Architecture V1. Here, I was exposed to the likes of Iannis Xenakis, more of Cage, Murray Schaeffer, Bernhard Leitner, and Leonard Bernstein among others. I began to feel in good company with the experiments that, truthfully were done without the use of the technology we have today. That excites me.

I leeched onto the sonic investigations of Bernhard Leitner (late 1960s Austrian composer and designer of vibrational installations) and his sentiment of ‘measuring with the ears and constructing with sound’. Soon a model was formed, one intended for cataloging the characteristics of a site in a perceptual way - in the broadest sense considering ideas of space, sound, place, scale, physical, cultural, and mental phenomena. I was witnessing myself fall into place, and could not avoid making the connections with the allure of my immediate environment, childish wonder with the outdoors, love of theory, process, and experimentation, and well, music…Thus my personal research into sound and space: Proxemia, the Aural Cartography project was born. I intend to approach this investigation first with what I see fit, namely utilize my technical exposure to the precision architecture, and now of surveying, love for music, photography, drawings, paintings, maybe even film - but most importantly anything that will add to the experience of discovery.  Eventually, an architectural, physical form will be derived based on the information I gathered be it direction of flying geese, rhythms of the lake tide, elevations, speed profiles, boundaries...

Here, I recall Brian Eno talking about John Cage in Eric Tamm’s Brian Eno, His Music and the Vertical Color of Sound:

"‘Art is a net’, Cage said. Years later I read Morse Peckham. He said, ‘Art is safe.’ I realized that’s what Cage meant…

You’re creating a false world where you can afford to make mistakes." 

It seems like making mistakes creates learning opportunities that exist as a form of experimentation, culminating with a research based process. Often these mistakes can be exploited or translated. I think embracing chance operations may help to avoid creative obstacles where, like creating a 'false world' as Eno puts it, one creates an entirely new and unexpected world, one worth investigating.