Friday, August 24, 2012

Obscurantist #70: The Sound Column

the following tracks were recorded during spring and summer 2012 in 'the Sound Column'.
The SC is really the inside of one structural leg of the Rotunda at the Palace of Fine Arts.
This room is a rarely open to the public and so few people have ever been inside.
The inside is a trapezoid shape extending upward about 60 feet.
There is one door, no windows, and a tile covered floor.
The only object inside this resonant chamber is a Marimba with 5 metal keys.

Dulcimer 04
ancient soliloquy to fishes in a cave
Dulcimer 01
Dulcimer 03
Last Night of the Proms

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Obscurantist #68: RoomTone

'Room Tone'
Duration is variable

Room Tone is a performative sound installation that explores feedback, resonance, and harmonicity.
The piece consists of individual stations that are manipulated in real time. There should be four to 8 stations.
Each station contains the following elements:
1x Miniature electric guitar with stand
1x Miniature Marshall Stack Amplifier
1x Clear Acrylic or Plexiglass Vitrine (16 cm x 16 cm x 32 cm)
1x Stereo Condenser

Other Equipment:
8 channel Mixer 
4-8 amplified speakers
MOTU 8 channel Sound Card

The amps are turned to full volume allowing for a positive feedback loop to begin. Each instrument is tuned to a complimentary chord. As the Feedback continues, the resonances begin to change. Factors such as heat, string fatigue, humidity, and decreasing battery life act on the feedback loop. The combined resonances create a changing chord. This iteration of Room Tone is autonomous and does not require human intervention. A second interactive version sounds slightly different. Through subtle manipulations of filters and equalization the chord can make to 'modulate' more intensely.