I was excited to return to greater Helsinki to present my work at the Sound and Music Computing conference at Aalto University. I also got to record with some more of the terrific improvisers in the area! I performed Shankcraft with Sergio Castrillón, presented Raveshift (installation), and a paper on Ferin Martino.
I just received word that my work was one of 18 pieces (out of 200+ submissions from 35 countries) for the CEMI Circles festival tutus October at my alma mater, the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia at the University of North Texas. I know the venue well for helping upgrade and run it as a doctoral fellow: it’s going to rock the Merrill Ellis Intermedia Theater with its 28.3 channel speaker system and three screens!
Inspired by Einstein’s paper introducing the special theory of relativity titled “On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies,” “Sobre a eletrodinâmica dos corpos de trabalho” offers a time-distorted view of the concrete plant in Quarry Maljoga in Dade from the Viseu Rural archive (the only sound source). It portrays the work as it echoes off the landscape in compressed time, frozen time, and smeared timelines. It is a reflection on the efforts of man-made forces, the persistence of natural forces over time, and the interfaces between them.
Note: Visual and aural clarity is way better in the original than on YouTube, so remember to go to concerts!
This work explores the complexities of the macro-, micro-, and inner-worlds of a walk in the woods. On the largest scale, many people, animals, machines will cross this path over the centuries although today it seems like a new discovery awaiting you. On the smallest scale, delicate sounds of footsteps are seen as catastrophic disruptions of nature’s mise en place. On the inside, such a peaceful environment can allow the wildest range of thoughts to occur, exposing new opportunities, some exhilarating, some terrifying. It is composed using only sounds from walking in the woods near the Avenue of Beehives in Vila Dum Santo from the Viseu Rural archive.
Note: Visual and aural clarity is way better in the original than on YouTube, so remember to go to concerts! The complex audio in this one gets especially fuzzy on YouTube…
An immersive audiovisual composed improvisational environment. The performance is structured to juxtapose horizontal and vertical gestures (e.g., for percussion, rubbing versus striking). All digital sound is sampled from the acoustic instrument live during the performance. All video is a live processed feed of the performer’s arms at work, exploded into full textures that immerse the audience in the sensation of the actions that are causing the sounds they hear.
Rehearsal with Sergio Castrillón, cello (https://sergiocastrillon.com/) at Korjaamo, Sound and Music Computing Conference, Helsinki, Finland
The Collected Solo Piano Works of Ferin Martino, as Conjured by Your Presence in the new Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech.
Created for the grand opening of our new building at TAMU, built by students, and covered in World Architecture magazine.
Sonic Glimpses is a site specific interactive art installation to celebrate the grand opening of the five-story Liberal Arts: Arts and Humanities building on the prestigious East Quad on the main campus of Texas A&M University in College Station, The building was designed by Brown Reynolds Watford Architects to meet the criteria of the Leadership in Engineering and Environmental Design (LEED) silver rating. The opening gala was held April 19, 2013, and the installation remained on display through July 15, 2013.
The art installation was designed to turn a trip up the grand staircase into an audio tour of the research and creative work being done in the building. Sound clips are triggered by traffic on the staircase, sounding near the location of each passerby. Faculty and students in the building contributed clips of their own creative work or the literature they study. Students in the Department of Performance Studies recorded the sound clips, performed some of the voice-acting work, installed the hardware, assisted in calibrating the software settings, and created the video documentation of the project. Creators Jeff Morris and Autum Casey worked with the building proctor, Environmental Health and Safety department, and the Audiovisual Surveillance Technology committee to ensure the installation satisfied concerns of all stakeholders.
The heart of the installation is a secure rack with Apple Mac Mini computer inside, along with multichannel audio interface, amplifier, and rack-mounted keyboard, trackpad, and video display. The computer runs a custom software program created by Jeff Morris in the Max graphic programming environment (by Cycling74). The rack is connected to two analog video cameras for control input (connected to digitizers inside the rack) and six bare speaker cones for audio output.
For aesthetic reasons and also to satisfy Environmental Health and Safety officials, especially since the grand staircase is the primary emergency exit route for most building occupants, we took efforts to keep the hardware minimally invasive. Most notably, we used only two video cameras for motion detection, mounted overhead, instead of sensors mounted on the stairs, such as pressure sensors, infrared tripwires, or infrared or ultrasonic proximity sensors.
The cameras provide vastly more data than such local sensors. This allowed for complex variations in the control data, resulting in the appearance that the artwork responds with a human-like whimsical character, with varying moods. The software turns cameras into motion detectors through frame differencing: calculating the absolute difference between each frame and the next, pixel by pixel, and summing the absolute difference of each pixel to yield a single number corresponding to motion. Since the staircase runs along a large windowed wall, natural light, changing throughout the day and affected by weather, influenced the artwork’s responsiveness over time, and differently so for each color. Further, the color contrasts and patterns of visitors’ clothing, skin, and hair and the ways in which they move each trigger the sounds in unique ways.
Designed by: Jeff Morris and Autum Casey
On the occasion of the Liberal Arts: Arts and Humanities building grand opening April 19, 2013 through July 15, 2013
Content contributors: Jayson Beaster-Jones, Michael Collins, Jeffrey Davis, Rayna Dexter, Mariana Gariazzo, Amy Guerin, Emily McManus’s Music in World Cultures class, Britt Mize, Rohan Sinha, Nancy Warren, Jennifer Wollock, Jaeeun Yi, Costume shop student workers
Content recorded by: Marco Pisterzi, Trent Tate, Casey Gilbert, Priscilla Lopez, Katharine Hinson Installed by Jeff Morris’s Intermedia Performance class and Autum Casey’s New Technology for Designers
Texas A&M University invites fixed media works of visual music or other non-narrative fine art animation, video, or film in which the sound/music and visuals play equally important roles in the work, for a presentation on the Texas A&M University campus called the Fresh Minds Festival. The event will be mass curated by hundreds of TAMU students learning the elements of visual and musical design with the goal of presenting a program of works that are engaging and rewarding to curious newcomer audiences. This is an event filling the gap between “for experts only” and “people’s choice” type events. Each year, several hundred students co-curate the festival. Each year’s evaluation cycle is launched with the screening of the previous year’s finalists.
A faculty panel will use the students’ evaluations of submitted works to shape a program. Creators of selected works are encouraged but not required to attend the event. Multiple entries will be accepted. There is no entry fee.
Due to the large number of students participating in the selection process, works will reviewed in stereo on student-owned equipment, delivered via internet links for evaluation. Works selected for the event will be presented in full quality in surround sound, spatialized live by TAMU students.