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July 17, 2006

[17.7.06] Research progress - Flour power

Today I set up my studio upstairs replete with technological doodads and whatnot. Last night I experimented with Alvin Lucier's Queen Of The South by using a glass surface and cous cous as my strewn material.

Today I decided to use a metal cooking tray and flour - the results were very good. First of all, the metal surface is a lot thinner in density than the glass surface allowing for a greater response from the sine waves.

F1 [43.6 Hz] really shook the surface up, throwing the fine white grain into powder. I decided to shake things up a little further by playing the F1 together with an E1 [41.2 Hz], which created a very strong pulse effect.

I was chatting with Michael Yuen earlier today about the trial last night, and we discussed the nodes of a resonant object - that is a point at which the amplitude of vibration in a standing wave system is zero. If you think about it in terms of harmonic intensity, the surface has particular points which are strong and effect the movement of the strewn materials. I am thinking of attaching contact mics to areas of the surface and using a spectral analysis to find the strongest points.


Moving the flour with an F1 note.


As the F1 and E1 notes are taped down, the flour moves erratically. I am drawing patterns in the flour and pressing down on points of the surface to create different surface vibrations.

Also, the metal surface is quite interesting sonically as the E1/F1 notes in combination cause the metal to sound with beautiful harmonics.

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