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Coming together


The installation me Jana and Jørgen collaborate on is coming together now. It is going to be toured at schools in the Hedmark region in March. Jana will visit a school a day and set up the installation in the gym hall. The installation is made up from 20 sensor doormats. As the kids move around they will trigger sounds played back from a four loudspeaker setup. Max/MSP is used to control sound in real time.

The doormat sensors are simple on/off switches. Most of the time we’ll use them for triggering playback of sound files but one of the modes is based on syncronized playback of a 16 track rytmic loop the doormates controlling which tracks are to be muted at any time. In addition we’re creating a non-interactive background layer giving a sonic fundament that sensor-controlled sounds can act against.

Me and Jørgen tried different combinations of interactive sounds and background stratas yesterday. It’s the most effective demonstration I’ve experienced to this day of how much stronger the total impact becomes when there’s several contrasting musical layers present at the same time. Shepard tones are used for some of the background layers as well as the interactive part. When combining rising shepard tones for background and interaction the interaction was more or less masked by the background. Substituting the interactive sounds for falling shepard tones made it all come out so much clearer. Increasing the difference between the background and interactive layers further improved the overall impact even more.

Still I’d like to create one more background layer that has a more processed and distant quality to add depth to the soundscape. Also I’d like to see stronger fluxtuations in time than at present so that the sounds cape is drifting and turning on itself to a stronger degree. I’ll see what I can do of further devellopment based on the sounds that are already present. I have some ideas of what to do based on granulation delays and an interesting MSP filter that I haven’t tried using before: teeth~. teeth~ is a comb filter with feedforward and feedback delay control. It’s at the core of the Pluggo FX “Generic Effect” and is used for creating a wide range of effects: delays vibrato chorus flange comb filters etc.

I don’t think it’s a good idea to introduce more material now rather we should try to find different ways of combining and develop what’s there already.

Monday we’re going to run tests with kids at a school in Oslo.


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