May 13, 2013
I would like to add a new listening post to the others filed in the category listening. The exercise is simple but it may enhance your ability to distinguish different sounds. It is inspired by John Cages Imaginary Landscape 4.
To start you will have to organize two or more sources of broadcast or playback-media. Best is playback so when in doubt you may reset your setting.
The exercise asks you to play all the sources you gathered at the same time and and while listening take notes on a sheet on what you hear either in quality of sounds or in musical terms. That is all you have got to do.
The longer you do it the more you will be aware of your inner ability to “mute” one sound and focus on the other and to strengthen your force not to do so.
If you have comments on the exercise or own exercises to propose please use the section below this post!
April 8, 2013
Non deterministic art has been around quite a while. In the recent decades it started to break out from modern art museums via computer games while inserting itself into business under the name gamification. Rule based art has many forms of appearance. Be it a painting which is made of several pieces which can be moved by the spectator or an installations which depends on various influences like the sound of this windharp embedded in a natural environment. In this post Bitsphere likes to share some insights into the basics of rule based music creation.
Rules and interconnections
Out of very few rules are generally a lot of possible combinations arising. Imagine the action of driving a car: There are few possibilities: left – right – forward – backward – fast – slow. By applying these rules you may reach more places than you would have time to in a lifetime.
If the driver lined up all his decisions by this rules to describe his way from home to the grocery store it would go like: forward 10m – right 90° – forward 500m – right 75° – forward 400m – left 100° – forward 45m. It is clear that only one alteration in the description led to another outcome (the car stops at the gas station for example) and if altering two or more decisions led to a completely other outcome (the car ends up in a holiday resort abroad).
What we also may keep in mind is that there might be other ways to get to the grocery store. Which says that another application of the rules leads to the same outcome.
Example of rule based music construction
To give you a short example of how to work with rules here is a sample piece of music which is based on two rules:
- In each bar the note is shifted up by a third in the diatonic scale (and transposed to a certain range) g – h – d – f – a – c – e – g
- The rhythm in each bar corresponds to a digital number 000001, 00000010, 000000011, 00000100, etc. If there appears a 1 in the number there is sound and if not there is none.
That is how the first eight bars look like in classical score:
This is how it sounds like:
If you have anything to say about ruled based art and music – may it be a link to a resource or your personal opinion – drop me a line!
January 28, 2013
The Sound Map Project
The Sound Map Project is going on well there are already a few recordings collected. Birds, waves and the noise of a building site among other sounds. There are some technological issues the final version will for sure not be as intended and described in the last post Developing a Neuchâtel Sound Map. The main reason about the technology change is evernote is recording sounds in exactly one file format which is very well protected by copyright in case of an android phone. But luckily there are many free recording apps which allow high quality file formats. Another issue is that a stand-alone web site allows more flexibility in providing access to the sound map for people with a less technological background which do not know evernote yet.
Currently Bitsphere is doing a website with the open source CMS Typo3. To work with a CMS to do the bitsphere.ch site and others was a long hold back idea which now comes true and will hopefully make it more easy to update the website on a regular basis. It seems that the skill of mastering a professional CMS also opens business opportunities. In the end the sound map may be done using that system too.
One Minute Video
This year will be a one minute video most likely too. There is an idea with an augmented reality app using a laser to generate music and then turn the outcome in a sounding video.
Ringtones on Vibedeck.com moved to http://bitsphere.bandcamp.com
Vibedeck hosted the Bitsphere Ringtones for a while as mentioned earlier. Unfortunately they are no longer offering a free service and will drop all non paying accounts by the end of January. At this very moment it seems the best solution to move them to bandcamp.com since they offer paid downloads with reasonable fees. http://bitsphere.bandcamp.com is the new URL to get them. Still you may listen to all the sounds at soundcloud but soundcloud is somewhat too limited to offer downloads to non paying users so chances are that the limit is exceeded by people not really using the sounds.
Thank you for making 2012 the year with the most visits on this blog. If you have any questions, ideas or issues just make use of the comment section or the numerous social media links on this site!
December 3, 2012
Currently Bitsphere is working on a sound map of the town Neuchâtel in Switzerland. This is inspired by the Canadian composer, R. Murray Schafer, who wrote several books covering the topic of sound environment. The Neuchâtel sound map will be opened for the public as soon as there are enough sound snippets to expose.
The recordings are made with a cell phone and uploaded to evernote.com. In the Evernote notebook the exact location is set via the inbuilt google map. The planning goes to open the notebook to the public and link to the sound from google maps. Maybe there is a simpler solution so if anyone knows about it please leave a comment. Bitsphere is by now not sure whether this is a proper solution to avoid people deleting content. If not, the map will be copied to another website.
The bad news about recording with the mobile phone into Evernote is the fact that one cannot choose the sound quality and the media format. So the sounds are always recorded in the file format the cell phone provides. The good news is that the cell phone is almost any time at hand and one can enjoy the sound mapping as an ongoing side project.
So if you do not want to create your own sound map, but you still want to take part by telling which typical sounds of a city you would like to hear in a Neuchâtel way, just post your comment!
November 12, 2012
For November, Bitsphere is describing another listening exercise. Bitsphere advises to begin with the other exercises you find under the category “listening” ( http://bitsphere.wordpress.com/category/listening/ ) but you can start straight away with this one if you like.
The description of this exercise is rather simple but it enables you to listen to surprising many sounds if you get in the habit of doing this for a couple of days or weeks. There are more possibilities to do so than you might think.
This listening exercise goes like this: Listen to what you hear! Notice that sound and then try to listen to a different sound or noise which surrounds you! Whenever you have found something to listen to, mark it “heard” in your inner register and try to find something new to listen to. Search for silence and you will find many subtle sounds!
This is it all. For sure you can do this in many situation in your daily life. As you go ahead with this exercise you will develop an ability to listen to many hidden sounds in your noise environment. Enjoy!
If you would like to share your experience with this exercise or even propose your own one you are welcome to use the comment section!
October 1, 2012
Once again Bitsphere wrote an animation video for the Oneminute video festival in Aarau, Switzerland. This years video consists of colors and music which change in an algorithmic pattern:
Bitsphere decided not to let the video run in the competition blocks, so it was screened only once in Aarau. If anyone knows about a one minute video festival anywhere else in the world, please drop a line so Bitsphere can send it there.