BLOG (March 2006 - March 2009)


November 27, 2006

[26.11.06] Mount George

Today Edie and I hiked up to Mount George, which is about 2km outside of Bridgewater. From there, it's about another 2km to the summit from the base. Here are some photos I took:

1. A view from the summit with Mt. Lofty in the background.
2. An ant trail going up the length of a massive Ghost Gum about halfway up.
3. A view from the summit looking down into the scrub.
4. An unfocused though nice flower.

November 26, 2006

[24.11.06] Algerian lamb and cous cous

Over the past couple of months I've been using cous cous for the sole purpose of visualising sound waves. But enough of that I say! Let's eat it instead! I decided to incorporate these little things into an Algerian lamb dish for our final Stirling cookoff, here's a rough rundown:

  • 3 tbl spoons of olive oil
  • 1 tbl spoon of Balsamic vinigar
  • 1 tbl spoon of smoked paprika
  • 1 tea spoon of powdered chilli
  • a thumb sized knob of ginger (grated)
  • 3 cloves of garlic (diced and crushed)
  • 1 tbl spoon of coriander seeds (to crush)
  • 1 tea spoon of nutmeg
  • 1 tea spoon of cumin seeds (to crush)
  • 1kg of lamb (diced small-ish)
This is the marinade for the lamb to be prepared the night before. Put the lamb aside in a large mixing bowl, and mix/bash every else together in a morter pestle. Mix this together with lamb and put in the fridge over night. The next list are the ingedients for the rest of the dish.

  • 1 red onion (halved and sliced)
  • 2 carrots (diced)
  • half a medium sweet potato (diced)
  • two handfuls of raisens
  • one can of Roma tomatoes
  • one lemon (juiced)
  • 250g cous cous
  • one knob of butter
Use a bit more olive oil and fry up the onion with some salt and pepper, adding the carrot and sweet potato once the onion is soft and transparent. Add the marinated lamb and cook until browned. Add the raisens and tomatoes with lemon juice and allow to simmer for 30 mins. Prepare the cous cous and serve striaght away.

Enjoy with seven bottles of red wine (as the picture instructs or whatever.)

Good health. TLR

CATEGORY: Food and sociale

November 22, 2006

[22.11.06] Stirling >>> Glenelg

Today Edie and I and my housemate Bri went down to Glenelg to check out the house we'll be moving into in a couple of weeks. From the rustle of poplar/oak trees to the static of the surf - soon it'll be time to replant and adapt to another soniferous garden.

The house has a quiet street, harwood floors, stained glass windows and has a nice resonance.


[22.11.06] Mismanaged

On Monday afternoon after work I went to a launch party for a new book on the ledgendary Australian composer Percy Grainger. It was held in the Grainger Studio (also home of the Adelaide Symhpony Orchestra), and due to the events affilliation with the Elder Conservatorium there were an awful lot of horrible logos everywhere and a few people I regretted making eye contact with.

Grainger was certainly an eccentric character - aside from a fondness for masochism, leathergoods and crafting garments out of beachtowls, he invented a variety of his own instruments and made several (unsuccessful) attempts to overhaul the English langauge with his own brand of psuedo Dutch/English. In reality, this Grainger langauge sounds more like the way an academic writes after a few years of post-grad study whilst being stuck with a dissatisfying lecturing position. Like a snake eating its own tail (meow!).

His music is interesting, a kind of quasi-obsession with transcribing folk songs whilst absorbing Asian and American influences into his work. During the launch, one of his pianola works was played - a transcription of a neo-romantic-classical piece. The piece was transcribed for both the piano and orchestral parts, a veritable keyboard frenzy for up to twenty able digits and what must have been an early foray into over-dubbing circa 1920. I love the technology of the pianola (early MIDI), but I think I just hate classical music (up to 1897), as this piece just went on too bloody long with all of the usual cliches of exposition , development, recapitulation. I could have really done with a nice decapitation about five minutes in.

The one performance on the night that stuck out for me was a Grainger adaption of an old Chinese folk song which had been transcribed for string quartet by fellow Australian composer Peter Sculthorpe. The quartet (Grainger Quartet, but of course) played long beautiful sustained notes which overlapped each other with light harmonics arcing between the performers and around the space. The piece seemed to colour the room for me, with its shifting tints and hues. Much better.

By the way, later in the evening I found out from someone who shall remain anonymous that the Elder Conservatorium is half a million dollars in debt. Seems I got out at the right time, and I always knew those expensive plants in the garden area were a big mistake.

November 17, 2006

[17.11.06] Graupel audio

On my day off mid-week, I decided to revisit my Graupel work (formerly know as Songs and Paintings) and record some of the subsequent experiments. Whereas earlier versions of the work instructed that a sine wave be used for the sake of acoustic clarity in perceiving the phenomena of the bowls' natural resonances, I have found more harmonically complex sounds deliver more satisfying results - such as harmonic sweeps and notable changes in tone colour.

The audio sample below is the result of two bowls being played with seperate synth patterns being used as the sound material. What you are hearing are the synth patterns being articulated by the bowls' natural resonance, which are being excited by a shallow layer of water crossing harmonic nodes of the bowls' base. Naturally, the synth patterns are exciting the bowls' base as well, though it is the activation of harmonic nodes and the glissando movements of the water crossing over the base which causes the amplified frequencies and whistling tones.

Graupel: 151106.mp3

November 06, 2006

[6.11.06] Lake - "Symbols for hearing"

I went down to the lake on Saturday with my camera and a little loudspeaker in tow. These are some of the pictures I took of the loudspeaker; positioning it at various points around the lake.


This is not my idea. German sound artist Rolf Julius started experimenting with this concept a few years ago as he was walking through an abandoned stone quarry in Finland. He didn't have any recording equipment with him, so he took a couple of loudspeakers out to some small ponds and sat them upon some protruding rocks. His intention was to create a 'symbol for hearing'[1] where the artist is '[an] author in perception'[ibid].

A loudspeaker sitting in a natural environment with no sound being played through it strikes up a perculiar paradox. For a loudspeaker is essentially autonomous by nature - in this situation it is one sound source surrounded a multitude of natural (and unnatural) sounds eminating from all peripheral directions. The fact that it sits silent compounds the scenario - does the observer direct their attention to the silent loudspeaker and focus their perception upon sounds coming from that direction? Or does the observer listen to sounds which come from around the loudspeaker? A definitive answer would waste my time, and would probably sound a bit too Zen.

Why did I do this? For one, I thought the loudspeaker could do with some fresh air. More intellectually though, I thought I would use Julius' example to stimulate my imagination a little.

[1] Julius, Rolf. "It made everything silent", Resonanzen/Resonances: Aspects of Sound Art. (Kehrer: Koln, 2002) p. 118

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