Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Born in Nashua, New Hampshire, Lucier was educated at various schools growing up, including Portsmouth Abbey School, Yale and Brandies. He also won a scholarship which led him to Rome for two years. He then went back to Brandies at the age of 31 to teach Choir and Performance of new music for 7years. Then in 1970 he also taught at Wesleyan University.
He has invented many types of new ways of expressing music, including the notation of performers' physical gestures, the use of brain waves in live performance, the generation of visual imagery by sound in vibrating media, and the evocation of room acoustics for musical purposes.(1)
His main focus of late involves sound installations for both orchestras and solo instruments, by which he can manipulate the sound waves and make them spin through space.
He has done many performances, like at the ‘Abiko Festival’ in Tokyo, ‘Music on a long thin wire’ in Kyoto, at ‘Time of Music’ Festival in Finland and has even had his own five day festival, appropriately named, ‘Alvin Lucier: Collaborations’.
He has also performed with many famous composers, including Aki Takahashi, DAAD Kunstler, Douglas Simon, John Ashbery (poet), and Robert Wilson.
Here is a link to a related website:
“I am Sitting In a Room”
"I Am Sitting in A Room" is a psycho-acoustic classic by Alvin Lucier for voice and tape. The spoken sentence, talking simply of what he is trying to do, are recorded, then played into a room and re-recorded. And that goes on over and over again, until eventually all you can hear is the resonance of the room, proving his point. As the recording gets played over and over again, the sounds given by the room and the sounds common the spoken statement are reinforced, with all the other noises being eliminated. This is almost like a filter, leaving only the pure sounds.
This song was composed and first performed in the same year at Guggenheim Museum in 1970.
I found this piece fascinating when i first heard it. I honestly didn't even know that this kind of theory existed and thats what could have happened.
I know that Alvin was one of the main composers involved in the evolution of sounds design. Spending almost all of his days dedicated to exploring the boundaries of sound and music, and also teaching others how to think the way he does. Feeling compelled from a young age, Alvin has changed the way many think about sound and music.
Monday, September 24, 2007
My first commercial is rather funny, I'm just going to say that. Oh, and very sexist on males' account, but i still thought it was funny.It uses a very simple, but effective way of advertising milk.
Its a pretty simple commercial, with only a few different sounds in it. These are:
> 00:00 - 00:30 = Background music (pretty funky) playing throughout the whole commercial.
> 00:17 - 00:22 = man's deep voice talking
> 00:27 - 00:28 = mans calling out to wife
> 00:29 - 00:30 = "got milk?"
I like how it is very simple, but very effective. No fancy graphics or sound effects are used. They also seem to use one fact as their basis, using humour to work on it.
Here is the link:
This next add is from a company called 'Antena',which is advertising an antiboredom campaign.
Also a very funny commercial, although a bit more witty.
Here are the main components:
> 00:00 - 00:05 = birds singing in the countryside
> 00:05 - 00:06 = car drving close past camera
> 00:06 - 00:40 = background noise of car motor
> 00:08 - 00:40 = music playing
> 00:31 - 00:35 = car screeching off road
> 00:32 - 00:40 = Woman laughing
Visually this add was better quality than the first one, although it gave a much more 'old school' feel, especialy with what the oldies were wearing!
Here is the link:
> Haines, Christian, Audio Arts Week 4 Tutorial, "Sound Scene", University of Adelaide,16th August, 2007.
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dye_ibjPY0g, YouTube.com, "Funny Commercial 4", Viewed August, 2007.
> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fnVJ-cOrZsI, YouTube.com, "Best Milk Commercial Yet", viewed August, 2007.
The digital camera. Beeps and whirrs when you turn it on, beeps when you take a picture, makes a different beep when you delete a picture, makes a different beep again when you turn it off.
These beeps are designed to inform you when you have activated a part of this hardware. None of them are natural, nor do they mimik what would be natural for a camera. They are simply there for informing.This is a form of sound design.
Another example is the microwave. Although it does include natural sounds, such as the noise the door makes when you open it, or the slam it makes when you close it, there are also the beeps it delivers when the time is up. Although it can get quite annoying at times, this sound design has been very important in the development of hardware. How else would people know when the microwave has finished cooking? a flashing light? Not very convenient.
Haines, Christian. Audio Arts Week 1 tutorial. "What is Sound Design", Univeristy of Adelaide, 24th July, 2007.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Dirty Dancing Minutes 02:40 - 05:21
Set in 1963. Mostly natural sounds, not much foley or sound effects. "Big Girls Don't Cry" playing in background.
> Sister complaining to father, and father telling her off, mother calming her down. Conversation about what defines a tragedy.
> Focuses on gamesman talking through a held microphones (03:26)
> Owner walking up and talking to guests (03:40)
> Luggage man taking luggage out of car (03:59)
> Focuses on dancing feet in dance class after guests have arrived
> Women instructing dance class calling out rules to dancers
Non- Diegetic sounds:
> Car pulling up in background which camera focuses on hotel
> Doors closing offscreen
> Music playing from loudspeakers throughout the hotel grounds
> Gamesman and commentator on loudspeaker in background
> Birds singing
> Guests walking around and talking (also movement noises)
> Sound of luggage being removed from cars around them.
> Hotel onwers' body noises
> Merangae music starts in background just before moving to dance class scenes.
> Women directing dance class in offscreen as focuses on dancers trying to dance
> Body movement noises during dance class (shuffling feet etc.)
> Women laughing at instructer's jokes.
> Accentuated car doors opening and closing
> louder luggage noises
> Feet louder in dance class
> Body movement whilst getting out of car.
Family travelling in a car to a hotel for a holiday. Starts with main character (yougest daughter) explaining what was happening, the era, etc. Oldest daughter start complaining that she hasn't brought enough pairs of shoes with her. Mother tries to calm her down. Father and youngest daughter explain that it wasn't a tragedy. Owner walks up to welcome them and tell them to go to a wonderful dance class.
Not many effects due to the era that the movie was made. Mostly just accentuated noises for things such as the car pulling up off screen, car doors opening and closing, background talking, and the luggage being taken out of the car (also offscreen).
Overall a pretty simple couple of scenes, but helped me learn what to look for.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
This week we had to use cubase and, creating 4 different instruments, write a song. In the beginning i had a little bit of trouble getting the sound to work, but, after that, the instructions i wrote down from class seemed to make it pretty simple. I used cheeze machine, harmonizer, and the drum kit to create a failry simple tune on the keyboard. I started with a simple melody, then adding some funky basslines, harmonic backing, and a simple drum beat. Overall, apart from the annoying crashing of the comptuer about 5 times, i found the exercise fairly simple, as setting up and exporting was similar to that of Pro Tools etc.
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
This week i had quite a bit of difficulty with the tuorial, seeing as the computer i was using shutdown TWICE! Grr! I have definately learnt my lesson about not saving! Anyway, i managed to finish it, and the first picture shows the result of what i did. I couldn't complete one of the parts of the tute as i did not have a MIDI keyboard thing. But i still read it and reckon i have a pretty good idea of what to do. For my piece i used the base from the tute and played around with almost every modification, causing the computer to actually freeze a couple of times, but i guess that was the only way i was going to learn. I decided to use the 16 step sequencer 2, and p[layed around with the notes until i found a melody that i liked, as opposed to just moving them on the first 16 step seq. I also added two different effects, the 'Freeverb' and the 'TwoBandDistortion - 0', i changed the levels until it suited me and then recorded. I was pleased with what i came up with. Overall i found it difficult but whorthwhile.