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Artist-in-residence at Marine Night Campaign

2014-01-15

Svalbard1024

For the next two weeks I’ve been invited to be artist-in-residence at the Marine Night campaign of the Mare Incognito Arctic marine biology research project. I’ll be spending 5 nights on FF Helmar Hansen, and then another week in Ny-Ålesund, finishing with a few nights in Longyearbyen.

I do not join the campaign with any pre-defined research questions or ideas for artistic projects. Instead I will start out with a set of working methods and a curious mind that, quoting one of Brian Eno’s oblique strategies, can be summoned as “once the search has begun, something will be found”.

I expect to spend a fair amount of time doing field recordings. In recent years I have done field recordings on a regular basis, most often using a surround (ambisonic) microphone to capture the sound of outdoor spaces. These recordings can be reproduced as 3D surround sound. Contrary to most music recording techniques, ambisonic recordings put an equal emphasis on sounds originating from any and all directions, with no filtering of “unwanted” sound from “unwanted” directions. I like this holistic and non-discriminating quality, and find the recordings interesting for their abilities to capture a sense of place, as opposed to recordings of select sounds disassociated from their surroundings.

During the campaign I hope to be able to do recordings of various outdoor environments (nature as well as inhabited places), as well as indoor places and their activities. Additional recordings using contact microphones capturing vibrations at various surfaces, as well as video recordings, will complement surround recordings. Elin Øyen Vister has been kind to lend me hydrophones and a Telinga parabol mic, and I’ll be experimenting with them as well.

During the campaign I also hope to be able to engage with the other participants, and learn more about their research. On a personal level the campaign offers possibilities for connecting strands of my various educations (I studied polar oceonography before I started studing music composition) in a way that I have not done before, and additionally I believe that a deeper engaging with and understanding of the places we will visit can not be done only by audio alone, but also need to encompass the research-related (and ultimately political) questions that the various research strands of the campaign address.

During this period I expect to be mostly offline, and with no phone connection. I’ll catch up on mails when I’m back home by the end of the mknth.

Getting *.reapeaks files out of the way

2013-12-29

For the past few years Reaper has been my favourite DAW program, due to its superior support for surround sound processing. One minor gripe with the program has been that any folder with sound files gets flooded with *.reapeaks files. These files are used for fast display of sound file waveforms, but I find that their presence a bit of a distraction when navigating folders for sound files.

Thanks to this thread I found a way to resolve this. In the General/Paths pane of Reaper preferences I first set an alternative location for *.reapeks files. I chose to create a new folder for this, located at ~/Music/Reaper/Reapeak-files:

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The next step was to ensure that this path is actually being used. That is done in the Media pane of the preferences:

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Over time reapea files will accumulate in this folder. As I am constantly battling to keep some free space at the main internal hard drive of my laptop, I used Automator to create a folder action that will look for *.reapeaks files in this folder, and delete them if they are more than 30 days old:

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The benefit of all of this is that for projects that I’m currently working on, the reapeaks files will probably already exists, and if not, Reaper doesn’t take long to recreate them, in particular as the internal disk is a pretty fast SSD disk.

The Automator folder action can be downloaded here. If you want to use it, you’ll need to unzip and adapt it to your folder structure in Automator, and make sure that it ends up in the “~/Library/Workflows/Applications/Folder Actions” folder.

Moviestar at the Meteor Festival

2013-11-13

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The interactive installation Moviestar by Marieke Verbiesen & co was presented at the recent Meteor festival in Bergen. In the installation Max, Jitter and Jamoma is used for live interactive video processing, making use of chromakeying and blob tracking.

Moviestar v2 Work in progress – Premiere METEOR Festival 2013 from marieke v on Vimeo.

Moviestar is an interactive installation that combines old and new media to create a reallife moving filmset. Classic film, animation, robotics, sound and motion tracking is utilised to simulate a movie scene where visitors play the main role. They will find themselves on a filmset surrounded by cameras, lights and a green screen studio, projected into a world that consists of monsters, UFO´s and other slightly surreal events that are controlled by the visitors movements in front of the camera.

The installation is a tribute to the young history of Special Visual Effects, that since the existince of film has experienced a fast moving evolution. Special effect technologies opened up oppertunities explored by filmmakers in order to produce imaginative movies by putting together diffrent filmed scenes; blending real actor recordings with stopmotion animations and prerecorded material. Filmmakers were able to create characters and filmsets using clay, wood and gardenutilities for their imaginative movieplots. Allthough films using these technologies looked far from realistic, they graduately gained acceptance by the public, and changed the way we looked at film forever.

A lot more info on this installation can be found at the official Moviestar website.

Moviestar was co-produced by BIT-Teatergarasjen and BEK, and supported by the Norwegian Art Council, Nordic Film Institute and The Municipality of Bergen.

CFP, Urban Soundscapes and Critical Citizenship, 27th & 28th March, 2014, Limerick, Ireland

2013-11-06

In this interdisciplinary conference, we explore the intersection of soundscapes and acoustic ecology studies (Murray Schafer 1977; Truax 1978) with urban, applied ethnomusicology’s focus on human subjects (Hemetek and Reyes 2007; Jurková 2012) and with sociological understandings of the cultural restructuring of urban space (Fainstein and Campbell, 2011; LeGates 2011; Bridge and Watson 2010), through an evocation of ‘critical citizenship’ (Nell et al, 2012).

We would particularly welcome individual papers (20 mins + 10 mins for questions) or panel presentations (90 minutes) that address the following questions:

  • Where is the individual located in urban (soundscape) studies?
  • How do the sounds of a city shape human experience?
  • What role does sound play in the cultural restructuring of urban space?
  • Might soundscape projects be part of urban regeneration and renewal and if so, in what ways?
  • How can we create/capture urban soundscapes and what motivates us to do so?
  • How might the relationship between the city and the individual be reframed sonically?
  • What critical potentials are unleashed in applied soundscape work?
  • Are soundscapes mere reflections of acoustic and other realities, or might they construct pathways for greater interaction between cities and their people?
  • What are contemporary methodological challenges in representing urban soundscapes?
  • What new technologies allow for the reimagining of applied soundscapes production and manipulation?
  • How can we productively bring together lessons from different disciplines in relation to urban, societal, cultural and acoustic ecologies in order to imagine a better, lived, urban experience?

Keynote speakers include:

  • Dr. Ursula Hemetek, University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna (Applied/Urban Ethnomusicology)
  • Dr. Giacomo Bottà, University of Helsinki (Urban Studies)
  • Peter Cusack, CRiSAP/University of the Arts, London (Sound Arts Practices)
  • Milena Droumeva, Simon Fraser University (Acoustic Ecology)

Please send your individual abstract of no more than 250 words, or a panel abstract of 350 words to LimerickSoundscapes@ul.ie

We also invite five-minute recording submissions for our dedicated listening space at the event. Please send your sound file, associated picture, and a brief description to tony.langlois@mic.ul.ie

The deadline for receipt of individual and panel abstracts is Nov 14th. Notifications will be sent by Nov 28th.

Programme committee:

Dr. Aileen Dillane, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.
Dr. Tony Langlois, Dept. of Media, Mary Immaculate College, University of Limerick.
Dr. Martin Power, Dept. of Sociology, University of Limerick.
Dr. Eoin. Devereux, Dept. of Sociology, University of Limerick.
Dr. Mikael Fernström, Interaction Design Centre and Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, University of Limerick.
Dr. Colin Quigley, Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.

LimerickSoundscapes is an interdisciplinary research cluster that includes applied, urban, and media ethnomusicologists, sociologists, acousticians, and soundscapes composers, and is based at the University of Limerick and Mary Immaculate College, Limerick, Ireland. This conference is funded by the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and by The Irish World Academy of Music and Dance, University of Limerick.

This must be the place

2013-10-29

(I love the passing of time (part II))

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The second part of the Re:place exhibition in Sandnes opened Thursday last week at Sandnes kunstforening, featuring works by Eamon O’Kane and Line Bøhmer Løkken. The exhibition is on through November 24.

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Tøyen Center is a series of photography by Line Bøhmer Løkken. The construction of Tøyen Center in Oslo in the early 1970s was marked by high ambitions. The key concept of its design was to preserve the qualities of classic urban planning by defining a public space as its core. Simultaneously, the center materialized the idea of future and progress through new physical structures. Today, Tøyen Center exits in many ways as a distorted picture of the glorious vision that was proclaimed when it was opened. Over the last 15 years, Tøyen has developed into a location for marginalized groups in Norwegian society, and almost half of the center’s retail space is empty. We find few traces of the visions that formed the basis for the planning of it, but what has replaced it? What kind of urban space does Tøyen Center represent today?

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And time begins again by Irish artist Eamon O ́Kane relates to a derelict plant nursery in Denmark and consists of a series of video works of the interior of the greenhouses. The title is taken from Samuel Beckett’s ‘Text for nothing (1958)’. The Beckett text, read by Jack MacGowan, accompanies footage of different parts of the nursery complex, expressing the friction between the natural and the human made and especially architecture.

IMHO the two additional works not only suplement the works already on show in the Part I at KINOKNO, but effectively change the whole exhibition by offering many new cross-reading of topics, uses of media and artistic strategies between all of the works. I really enjoy what this addition does to the whole exhibition.

(Photos by Jeremy Welsh)

 
 
 

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