Spectral Tablature (2013)

Spectral Tablature (2013)

Spectral Tablature is a series of collaborative installations that explore sound generated through visual processes. Sound is recorded or synthesized using common techniques then converted into images called spectral analysis. These forms are re-interpreted as a visual artifact then converted back into sound. For each pair, or “duet,” the similarities and differences in tone and texture can be heard as well as seen in the work. This series, along with two more of my installations, is currently on display for my thesis exhibition at the Northrup King Building in Minneapolis. Please read on for images and descriptions of each pair of prints along with the audio.
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Visual Storage: MFA 2013 Thesis Exhibition


This Friday, May 17 from 6 to 9:30pm (during the opening night of Art-a-Whirl) is the opening reception for the Master of Fine Arts 2013 Thesis Exhibition at the Northrup King Building, Gallery 254, 1500 Jackson Street NE, Minneapolis, MN 55413. I will be showing a series of prints titled Spectral Tablature with an iPad application to “listen” to the prints (more on that later), a 32″ interactive touchscreen installation titled, Machine Machine, and a kiosk with a series of filmed performances. I will also be debuting a performance piece titled, Instant Cinema, featuring DKO (music), David T. Steinman (mobile operator), and Jon Steinhorst (art direction). The performance begins at 9:00pm. Admission is free and open to the public. Two years of hard work has led up to this single night. If you have any interest in art, sound, music, or performance please consider attending. Thank you!

3 DEAF MICE – sound and story in a game – Part 2

3DeafMice-Ratatat-evolution copy 3DeafMice-Shred-evolution copy3DeafMice-Woofer-evolution copy

Why mice and what’s behind their listening, sound and music

3 Deaf Mice started with the idea of the nursery rhyme 3 Blind Mice adapted as the three deaf musical mice, but having to deal with the difficulties of hearing loss from listening to loud music too long, and I thought that would make a cool sound game. It sets up the challenge for the player to improve their own hearing so they can help the mice create the song.  And once that happens, it opens the door for a whole bunch of fun audio challenges and creativity. We’ve already got six more songs written around the lives of these three mice, all to do with sound and music creation, while also dealing with the rodents’ real world issues of finding food and avoiding getting caught as prey. Like mice, we humans can relate to these basic survival needs, and it certainly will add motivation to the game play. Lots of drama!
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3 DEAF MICE music game with Sonic Treasure Hunts and Audio Puzzles (part 1)

3DM KS head130225-2 copyOrigin of the game idea

3 Deaf Mice audio game is my current passion and exploration into new territory. I love the idea of having fun with sound. After teaching for many years material based on my book “Sound Design”, I’m reconfiguring a lot of my classroom exercises and expanding them into total immersion with this perceptual and musical challenge. The player is going to get a whole curriculum of sound design in a playful interactive environment with story and characters, that offers the pleasure of hearing in an expansive new way, and eventually including contests and sharing with the community.

Sound Design book cover sm3Game Structure

The game centers around the rock band 3 Deaf Mice, who blasted their ears with too much loud music and now need help from the player to find, transform and mix their next hit song. There are 10 verses to the song, each discovered in one of the game levels, and 10 audio tracks, 3 vocals, 3 instrumentals and 4 sound effects. With each successful level accomplished, one more verse and one more track is unlocked. When all 10 tracks and 10 verses are unlocked, then the player can remix the whole song by moving around the blocks of music. More details of game play are on the Kickstarter page.
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Duet Under Bridge

This piece was shot under a railroad bridge that I ride under during my commute. While trains are going over the bridge a nice rumbling, screechy ambience envelopes the space. On this occasion, a few weeks ago, melting icicles were dripping onto the sidewalk adding a chaotic rhythm to the soundscape. Rather than producing a drone to mimic the ambience I used noise, LFO pitch sweeps, and sample-and-hold on the Monotribe to contrast the reverberated railroad rumbling, and screeching.

NOTE: This is a binaural recording mixed with a monophonic, analog, synthesizer performance. Please use circumaural headphones to experience the binaural effect.

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