I finally edited the video footage I shot of this past year’s Vivarium installation at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. The Vivarium is an installation by Matter Management exploring biology, technology and mythology in a complex architectural and multi-media environment. I developed the sound design for the project, which involved inventing a system to monitor the biology in the black pyramid and to use that data to both generate and modify audio signals. The sound included audio amplified from the biology itself, sounds I had previously recorded, and sounds generated by software using the data captured. I developed the data system using Max/MSP.
Lately I have been experimenting with a slew of different audio tools, both hardware and software – analogue and digital. Eventually the ideas and methods will work their way into this project, Matter Management‘s Vivarium, which I am doing sound design for. It will be constructed, birthed, and will die in the Sci-Arc Gallery, and is the creation of MM’s CEO Juan Azulay. The sound portion of the Vivarium takes on the identity of a sort of organic and machine hybrid synthesizer with many layers of interactivity.
This little test is a tongue-in-cheek software and MIDI input test (using a simple controller to alter several different parameters in how the sounds are shaped or generated) using the 80’s ballad The Captain of Her Heart by Double, a variable sine wave, and an ethereal audio track of my creation as its main audio inputs. Later on the controllers will all be sensors, and the sound will be – shall we say more brooding and insectile? The video up there was created using Akira Rabelais‘ intriguing software, Argeïphontes Lyre, which I have also been messing around with lately. Its rather difficult to get something intentional out of it (for me), but quite easy to find pleasant surprises when you just let it go ahead and do what it does (which, incidentally, is not actually obvious on the first, second or sometimes third tries).