I suppose its a better time than ever to look back and reflect a little on the summer of making, learning and listening. Perhaps it would have been a real good idea to carry on my previous blog from where it left of; dealing with documenting 700ok’s various sonic ventures which mostly consisted of building and experimenting with drone heavy ambients of large metal feedback sculptures.
But that feels like a millions years ago now, despite only being less than half a year on. In the spirit of some pretty interesting a new directions/discoveries, i thought a new blog might be cool?
At this moment, i’ve traded vibrating heavy industrial physical objects for a focused manipulation of symbols in the act of realtime audio synthesis. A decision that was largely prompted by reading a particular Urbanomic interview with Experimental producer Lee Gamble (click for link) , to which he went into some detail about his earlier work with softwares he’d used. This was where i would first come across Live coded sound, laptop music, and algorithmic composition and producing. As well as softwares like Max Msp and Supercollider. This really through a curve ball at me in terms of my personal developing sonic process.
In such a piece of software like supercollider i could go from thick drawn out complex tonal sounds, using very physical materials – to using very little materials at all, but manipulating symbols of complex language, all the while achieving very similar results.
I was able to reach this point through some pretty intense long periods of frustrated learning, to which i became fascinated by the ability to move and manipulate data in such a way that was so un-physical – it felt as though i was almost doing the virtual or digital opposite of what i had been doing with metals, as though i’d synthesis or streamlined (which in a way i had) a process and rebirthed it into the hyperdigital age.
Maybe thats slightly over the top, but the contrast to me is so crazy! A great euphemism to demonstrate this action would be, if you wanted to known what 5,000 oscillators sounded like, you’d probably need a synthesizer the size of a room, on supercollider you can do it from the comfort of your laptop screen.
What does it mean to move big data? I can’t help but compare it to the moving of many parcels or bricks… But all of a sudden that are 2x times lighter or perhaps your super strong. All of a sudden you have the ability to a tone of material very easily. Is data material? a sort of immaterial, something we accumulate, something we exchange, sold and are told about, yet never really come in contact with? or even visualise? or hold?
These questions and ideas lead me into a direction I can see my dissertation moving toward…
17 Holly Herndon & Mat Dryhurst – Recruit [Official Audio] RVNG Intl.
(This particular track by Holly and Matt uses a technique that Mathew Dryhurst pioneered which he coined ‘Net Concrete’ – The idea of sampling from your own data footprint, a.k.a the massive accumulation of data you yourself build up while surfing the web, or simple just being alive in 2017 and owning a smartphone. This particular concept really intrigues me, the idea that one can build, deconstruct or create, from source material thats theres, instead of being exploited, sold back and advertised to you against your will and knowledge by companies like Facebook for example.
Its this direction of technological innovation that seems to work toward what i understand to be an accelerationist means. To take an pre existing functional method of capitalism, and push it forward toward a creative means re-shaping technological movement. Using the system as its not suppose to.
The capabilities of supercollider in particular interest me the most, reducing the gestural movements of sound making to what would appear as someone just replying to an email on the train. I think this observation can be seen at a lot of contemporary electronic music events, whether its danceable or not. Whether i enjoy this visual or not, its certainly an interesting transition, one that we see in many forms of day to day life. More and more of our expressive nature is moving digital or online.
What does it mean now to be physical? To outsource even our most palieble expressive actions into the digital realm? It is to compare impassioned hit of a drum to the 5 millisecond click of a button.
(include screen grabs and perhaps early supercollider experiments)
NOTES: expand a bit; then move on AND ADD PHOTOS
points to get too:
(separate post: interest in algorithmic composition and algorithms effect on our day to day lives in general.) + maybe include thoughts toward to London show, algorithmic effects of performers. + Algorave
(separate post: idea for multi-channel expansion)
Exchanging and communicating with 700ok from around the world through online sharing and storage, manipulating each others work + thoughts towards the ‘mix’