BLOG (March 2006 - March 2009)


August 22, 2006

[22.8.06] The Past 2 Weeks

Here's a summary:

[22.8.06] CCSP Research Proposal Presentation

This was a presentation that didn't go badly, but didn't go well either. For a start I was grappling with a change in the direction of the topic (which happened two weeks ago), and had been rushing to put together something plausible. Secondly, I forgot my copy of Lucier's I Am Sitting In A Room, and was forced to explain the process with the audio (which equates to disaster). Finally, I ran out of time and was unable to present the last two components of my research methodology, as well as demonstrate a new work, Songs and Paintings for (a) Metal Bowl(s) [more on this work below]. There were some constructive comments at the end, and for some reason they weren't directed at the apparent holes in my topic at present, then again maybe they were being polite.

[19-20.8.06] Songs and Paintings for (a) Metal Bowl(s).

This is the work that was going to be demonstrated at my CCSP proposal, oh well - perhaps some other time. Here's a technical description:

This a work called Songs and Paintings of (a) Metal Bowl(s). It is a work for a sine wave generator and a metal bowl with a shallow amount of water in it. Attached to the outer base of the bowl is a piezo speaker allowing direct contact with the metal surface. A sine wave which corresponds with the resonant frequency of the metal bowl is played through the speaker thus causing its physical state to vibrate and sound. Because the contact speaker is attached at the centre of the bowl’s base, this creates what is called a node – that is where the amplitude of a wave in a given medium has a value of zero. By tilting the bowl, the water’s edge changes it’s coverage of the bowls base, enabling primary and corresponding harmonic nodes of the bowl to become amplified. The loudest sound appears when the the water’s edge is exactly halfway across the diameter of the bowls base, this represents the first harmonic of the bowl, similar in the way that if you play the 12th fret harmonic of a guitar (exactly halfway along the strings length).

There is no performance process decided upon at present, though two possible outcomes have arisen through a careful examination of the system and it’s relative phenomena.

The first possibility is to allow a performer to explore the sonic potentialities of the bowl by thoughtfully employing different playing techniques, such as tilting the bowl to sweep through its harmonic range. The performer may also sing or project sounds into the bowl, thus causing beating patterns and the amplification of certain waves. Performance could also involve more than one bowl, of different sizes, resulting in an array of contrasting resonances.
(See image below.)

The second possibility is to put the bowl at a fixed position so that the first (and strongest harmonic) of the bowl is sounded. And due to the strong amplitude of the resonant wave - patterns relative to the propagation of the sound wave across the base of the bowl become visible on the surface of the water. With the benefit of a directional light source to refract the wave phenomena, these patterns become more visible and attractive. These patterns could be altered by lowering and raising the frequency of the resonant sine wave by slight degrees – in this case a pitch shifter is ideal for this. For an audience to observe the wave patterns, a video camera could be setup to project the process on a video screen.

[18.8.06] Raoul Valentine plays at the Academy Awards.

A more lighthearted moment came at the Helpmann Academy Awards where I appeared in the rare guise of Raoul Valentine. The girls backstage did a lovely job with the make up as Raoul demanded they make him look respectable. As a cross between Jack Sparrow and Liberace, Raoal sung Tom Waits' 'Temptation' and Leonard Cohen's 'I'm Your Man'. Doing his filthy duty, Raoul took his award and receded like an unforgiving hairline - INTO THE NIGHT.


Max said...

Hey babe - maybe your blog and other productivity would improve if you didn't spend so much time gourmet partying. Or tooling around on MySpace either.



Tristan Louth-Robins said...

Oh come off it, that gourmet party was a one-off ... and I would argue the point further that myspace (trashy though it is) is a fine tool for procrastination. Plus you can make lots of imaginary friends.

Lertsa Lurve

Raoul V

intrepid visitors since 25/1/08