Confessions of A Listener
A LITTLE TURBLENCE IS WELCOMED EVERY NOW + THEN
This week I decided to re-organise my schedule. What a fab decision that was! Not only was did my productivity and creativity increase, but it also allowed deep reflection and acceptance. The more I focus on stillness and silence, or finding space in which to do so, the more I tune into my physical and mental wellbeing. Unfortunately, the first upkeep has taken a hit this week, but I’ve not let it set me back!
Rather than struggle against what my body was saying, I accepted how it’s been feeling and working with what it wants. By silencing, or stilling, the noise of “I must get be one-hundred percent finished on this task”, I’ve relaxed into reflecting on the bigger picture and not the current frustration. This brings me to my first point: over-coming technical frustrations.
The week started off well. I edited sounds recorded last week at Temple Newsam and played with creating different levels of noise and rhythms. But when it came to editing visuals and sound simultaneously via my external controller, it wouldn’t work. I couldn’t figure it out but persevered amongst the tiredness and overwhelming frustration.
Turns out my LaunchControl Mini only works one programme at a time! However other artists set-ups (Max Cooper) uses ethernet and OSC as well as Max For Live patches, to communicate precise audio effect parameters from Ableton into Resolume to control the visual effects. This solution tipped me over. A mixture of relief, tiredness, irritation and dissatisfaction caused some major distress but thankfully a reasoning voice over the phone helped to calm down. This brings me to second chapter of this week: getting a balance of creativity and productivity.
Having a set schedule is proving very useful. There’s less background thinking about what I have do because it’s all down on paper. Doing this weekly blog is also a valuable mini-goal. However, I felt a need to disrupt this week outline because it was laid out the same as the previous two.
Switching up your routine/s brings on new experiences which enhances creativity, so it’s healthy to occasionally do this. Another aspect to keep in mind is if something isn’t working, let it go; you’ll be more productive in the long run. I followed this example (inspired by Constant Content) and changed my field recording day.
Turns out the weather was on my side, compared to earlier in the week and I spent 3 hours outdoors collecting source material. I am being drawn back to the vast and diverse space Temple Newsam Park provides.
Ranging from dense woodland to small brooks, this park has plenty of sound and visual potential. And with spring on the horizon, the sounds and landscape will dramatically change over the next month or so. In those 3 hours, I lost track of time immersed in my senses and the space around my body. It heightened my awareness to the strong winds that were causing a struggle to walk straight, in addition to effecting how much traffic noise was being picked up by the mic. The resulting week’s turbulence (physical and emotional) has bared some fruitful results though.
Even though there were some technical set-backs, I was able to produce some samples by adapting to the situation. Instead of using both programmes at the same time, I edited the sounds individually then imported the tracks into Resolume. Here certain effect parameters were set to Composition FTT (see image to the right) giving a similar result as if I was physically altering both materials.
Below are snippets of the videos that I made with this method:
Alongside creating these trials, I researched a little more into noise/unwanted sounds (see brainstorm below). This then informed what imagery and aural sources I would gather or look for later that week.
I also reflected on my aesthetic style and what art forms have influenced my work so far. In conjunction with listening practices (inspired by Hildegard Westernkamp, Pauline Oliveros and R. Murry Schafer), art movements such as abstract art and installation art are also strong stimuli. My style heavily revolves around selecting, subtracting, re-organising and immersing.
All of which are explored in those genres.
In the next coming weeks, I aim to capture stages of my creative process so you can see how the above samples are formed.
So next week I am volunteering at AES 146th Pro Audio Convention in Dublin! I’m super hyped to connect with fellow audio people, to see what opportunities are out there, talk about where the future of audio is headed, and to see Dublin (this will be my first time there!).
You can follow my experience on Instagram. Have a great week!
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