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Sunday, 28 August 2011

Aural Terrains. Brainstorming

Over the last few days we have developed and trashed several ideas.  As a group we are all in agreement of the general direction we wish to take the latest project, however we have scratched several ideas already due to location constraints, capability etc.

After looking at the Non-newtonian fluids and Chladni plates detailed in the previous post, we decided to look for an alternative project idea.  Following this path would demonstrate more of a visual form as opposed to sound.  It was harnessing sound to create results, but the results themselves were at odds with the target brief.  We have been learning to detach sound from its source and to concentrate on it as a raw object in itself.  This project idea was achieving the opposite.

The idea of interactivity floated within the group, this would be an interesting development on the installation idea.

We also discussed performance.  Initially it was clear that for everyone involved this would be a different approach.  For me personally I was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone, but was prepared to do so if we had a solid idea backing our performance.

To this end, we spent a substantial amount of time researching and developing a 'talk-box'.  This is essentially apparatus which allows the user to shape and distort sound with their mouth.  It is used by several contemporary recording artists, but was heavily featured in the earlier synth-pop era.  A good demonstration of the talk-box in action is in the song Generator by the Foo Fighters.

One of many tutorials uploaded to youtube demonstrating how to build "ghetto talk-boxes"

We were to create five working talk-boxes similar to the above video, each linked to an individual speaker in a surround system.  We would act out our sound installation somewhat like a conversation.  Taking turns to manipulate our individual speaker noise with our talk-box.

We attempted several different construction methods, however given our budget and demands we were facing problems.  The speakers we could afford couldn't output enough volume to pass by the encased unit.  As such we went back to the drawing board.  It was only when we visited and got a feel for 'The Audio Foundation' space itself that we came up with our next idea.  The idea we ran with for the finished project.

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