Initial Audio Ideas

The point of entry into the audio-visual composition process for this project is ‘audio idea development’.  I hope that the final piece will provoke an instinctive and possibly emotional response for each viewer. Because of this I have chosen to start with abstract sound as for me personally, this is more capable of provoking an empathic response than abstract visual content.

As a starting point, I am currently developing 4 semi-generative quadraphonic audio compositions each of which I will subsequently develop visual content for. Taking the ‘less is more’ approach, I am currently trying to take a deliberately simple, almost childlike approach to piecing together a palette of sound timbre groups each of which has its own abstract qualities which give it a distinctive identity. For example dreamlike, invigorating, forceful, suspenseful. Once I have the 4 quadraphonic pieces worked up to a suitable level of completion and variation, I will move on to develop visual content for each. It may well be that I subsequently discard any of the 4 and/or work up additional pieces to sit alongside them. At this stage, I am interested in developing initial audio form during the process of which I will be developing and improving technique.

In terms of sound origination, I am currently working with an Access Virus synthesiser, which although quite old (circa 2000) allows for full MIDI control of all parameters and also features multiple audio outputs. I need to be able to route audio programmatically to 4 outputs in order to achieve quadraphony. In coming phases of the project, I plan to use the MIDI note on and controller information to trigger and manipulate visual content. So there will be a direct relationship between the quadraphonic sound and (hopefully) 4 projectors used in the final installation.

In terms of an audio composition tool, I am currently using an old edition of Ableton Live, which enables MIDI loops to be set up that have varying probabilities of triggering other loops. This is why I refer to the compositions as being semi-generative.

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