Sonic Arts Forum 2012- Leeds University
Have returned from another very successful SAF, unveiling my piece for the cool fusion project, which went rather well. As per usual a very eclectic group of composers, musicians, computer programmers and installation artists, all of whom, use sound and technology as part of their art from. There were some stunning works on display this year; Frederico Macedo diffused a stunning three movement piano acousmatic piece in quad, Some very interesting field recordings by Paul Wilson on a recent China, an electroacoustic work by David Hindemarsh, which expressed how being blind affected the way he perceives sounds, and in particular, acoustic shadows, where an object partially masks another sound (which is what happens if you partially cover one ear). There was also a lovely multi-tracked 4 violin piece by Franscesco Sani using scordatura tuning which built up to a frenzied crescendo.
The innovators were equally interesting:
Patrick McGlynn came over from Ireland to show the App he has developed for the Ipad that’s exploits its tactile-data system to drive another music device such as a computer or synth. He demonstrated by getting it to drive a laptop running a Tibetan Bowl sample. \the gestures he made on the Ipad refected what was coming out of the speakers; so if he gently stroked it, you got a ringing sound, with dynamics, if he tapped his fingers you got tapping sounds, and crucially, if you did both, you got both. Hes still working on this, but the prototype proved to be highly popular. He sees this could control all manner of things from audio stuff to entire lighting rigs
Anton Jidkov has also developed an Ipad application, this time for mixing sound channels, and like Patricks, its very tactileness allows the possibilites of some really performance based diffusion, away from a conventional mixer.
Simon Bradley has developed an application for the Iphone which uses the GPS location data to stream audio. The idea of this is to create a map using google maps and have different sound centres then what you heard depended on your location- so if you’re between two points you would hear a mix of both, if you moved closer to one of them you would hear more of one than the other and so on. This has been tested on a soundwalk in yourkshire, and whilst still in the development process, the initial test was successful. This has a huge range of possible uses from both the artistic, the practical for use in outdoor ancient monuments- it’s a step up from traditional audio guides because the system is not dependant on the person following a specific route! It also has gaming possibilites for orienteering, paintball etc.
Both the above have serious commercial potential.
There is an improvisation slot in the programme, which allowed me and Chrissie Caulfield, playing an octave violin through a 1 watt (yes 1!!) fender amp-
A 10 minute clip of the improvisation here courtesy of Paul Wilson
All in all a very stimulating Saturday with technical innovators mixing with electronic composers- I have plans to bring this event to firstsite, Colchester, next year- this is potentially popular with London-based practitioners of sound art, electronic music and technical innovators
In other news, once again I have a piece included in this years Hilltown Festival, in Castlepollard, Ireland- This is the second time in two successive years I’ve had a piece featured, and yet again Im unable to attend, this year due to cool fusion commitments! However you can hear the piece online via the original blog here: