a few summer projects

I spent June traveling across the continental USA, visiting friends and making field recordings.  I will cover that month's activities in a future post. 

In July, I moved into a retired auto-body shop in industrial Greenpoint.  I am helping my flatmate convert it into a recording studio.  In the meantime, I have been fiendishly networking and putting together creative projects.  Starvation and searching for jobs have also taken up some time, as well as taking online TEFL certification classes and reading up on the GRE.  The ideas I have for projects are as follows, in no particular order:

1) I have been playing the piano a lot more regularly.  I want to start incorporating my love of home-brew analogue electronics with my fake (but much lighter) electric piano, in preparation for buying an old fender suitcase once I move out west.  I've never stopped loving to play piano, but only recently have I regained faith in it as a significant creative tool.

2) Learn MATLAB.  It's actually quite simple and well documented since it's commercial software.  Obviously I stole it, but if I start using it a lot I might get whatever Ph.D. program I end up in to pay for a legit version.  A cursory glance at the signal processing and wavelet libraries suggest some cool and very musical applications.

3) Acousmatic "scenes".  I am interested in using sound design to create narrative, stylized experiences.  This occurred to me while watching the latest Harry Potter movie (the dialogue for which was ridiculously bad).   I found that many times, sound takes over and carries the experience for the audience when other cues fail.  While there exist conventions for how this sound-language works, they are by no means rigidly defined, and certainly not purely representational.  I often think of musique concrete and acousmatic musics as analogous to computer animated features: the same 'uncanny valley' must be avoided.  Successful CGI commonly employs a healthy dose of painterly sensibilities, and de-emphasizes the ultra-photo-realism that plagues the genre.  I have specific scenes in mind that I want to do.  Briefly:

a) The scene in the new Harry Potter movie with the zombies and underwater fireballs.

b) A dream I had about screaming, tearing my clothes off and running into the forrest surrounding the village I lived in.

c) Waiting in a clock-garden.  Birds giggle and turn into distant female archetypes.

4) build a composition using successive passes of impulses and convolution with new impulses.  i'm talking either digital band-limited impulses or analogue logic circuit impulses.

5) take two inputs.  find approximate pitch (using autocorrelation) of input 1.  find n strongest partials of input 2. granulate input 1, retuning grains to each partial, remapping partial amplitude to probability weight.

6) using geometric series for rhythms.  

7) fix and expand Cattri into a new cluster currently missing a working title.

Items 1 and 3 are more like ends to means, while 2, 4, 5, 6, and 7 (and others not listed here) are more like means to ends.

On top of this, I have several projects I am working on for others.  They will also be documented as photo- and recording- ops present themselves.

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