I was lucky to be selected to be one of Harvestworks New Works Residents (2019) for Luciferins. As residents, we work with technical teams to bring our projects into fruition. I was looking to get insight into sound development. The project uses field recordings, short wave radio broadcasts, among other machine sounds (ex, dial-up modems from late 1980-early 1990’s). I was looking to diversify the sounds, giving them more textures and layers. This will also be a multi-channel sound setup, with sounds moving among the channels, as well as different states of sounds.
After getting more familiar with Harvestworks and their expansive technical teams, I was happily paired with Melody Loveless. I was tickled to work with her, as she is also a former student of mine, when she was a Masters Student at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering, Integrated Digital Media Program. (Go IDM!) Melody has a specific interest in live coding, as well as generative sound installations. She has much expertise for me to draw upon.
Over a course of a couple of months, Melody and I went explored how to give the sound files more depth and textures. She brought a whole language of feedback, delays and filters which bring a wonderful layer to the experience. It’s been so refreshing to switch gears to working with sound and to sink my brain into that aspect of the piece. (Especially while the saga drags on with laptop port issues; More on that to come shortly.)
I fished out my Firepod-10 and hooked up 7 speakers (with mini amps) in my studio. We were able to explore the movement of the sound across the channel, albeit in a tighter/more collapsed space. It’s so exciting to see this project take more shape in a physical space. I started thinking more about speaker configurations, such as hanging them upside down, above viewers, versus on the perimeter of the room. Viewers need to be “in” the sound, not just surrounded by it. (It brings back memories of working at ZKM on the 4-D sound system, with sounds moving around your body in an immersive sound installation.) It also has me thinking about how to choreography these sounds in space: Where do the sounds move to? How do they move? As a group?
There are many things still to explore here. I’m certainly looking forward to diving back into sound installations. And diving deeper with Luciferins sounds and its performance.