Eclectic I

Friday, March 31, 2006

Technology journal week 5 Submission

Forum Speaker – Chris Williams

Chris Williams was formerly a Theatre Director and is now currently working as the producer of Radio Drama at the ABC.*1 This job entails taking care of the performance actors in the studio. He works collaboratively with an engineer.

For each new project a series of procedures occur. A script is solicited and commissioned, cast auditioned, chosen and then vigorously rehearsed. About 2 and a half-weeks are spent recording before the arduous post production.

The recording process is effectively Chris informing the Engineer the sound and feel he is after and the Engineer producing them. Microphones are picked based on what is being recorded. The studio is dampened to counteract any reverbrance within the space and feed the signal through EQ, Compression, analogue to digital converters, into a G4 Macintosh and Pro Tools, and finally into a DAT once it is complete.

Sound design work can occur at various stages. Sometimes it occurs independently of the recording of the work. The composer working from a brief of the script and feel wanted. This is not desirable due to inconstancy created by the lack of communication. Some times a copy of the vocals and sound regions are sent to the composer’s studio during postproduction. Most preferably, they try and get the composer actively involved in the studio while recording the piece.

Parts of various productions which Chris had produced such as “monologues to the apocalypse, *2/*3" or one that he was currently producing “The Letter S”. As an example of a much more musically based production, Chris finished the session with a collaboration piece with members from the “New Pollutants*4”

It was interesting to listen to how things came about. Personally though, I had greater interest in the collaborative piece with the new pollutants and monologues to the apocalypse. This is because I am more interested in the creative aspect of the production, rather then the technical approach to the outcome that Chris mainly talked about.

Workshop with David Harris

David played three pieces by John Cage*5 in this session. “Music For Carrilon” was written in 1954. It was a composition for bells that used the I Ching*6 method of chance in the compositional outlay of the piece. I found it interesting yet not very compelling.

“Williams Mix” was a tape piece written in 1952. 8 Tracks of quarter inch magnetic tape had a series of noises on them. These noises were divided into 6 categories of sounds. The sounds were then spliced together under Cage’s specific instructions to create an interesting timbre. Aesthetically this piece was brilliant. The effort spent in the 9 months spent to splice the tape together is evident in the quality of sound produced.

The Final piece played was 101 written in 1989. It was an untraditional orchestral piece. It used a “loose” style of notation with a variable choice as to when the musician played a certain note. It was slightly microtonal and most instruments were played unconventionally. It is another example of how cage's pieces break convention; however it requires a level of understanding to find enjoyment in the piece.

Audio Arts

This lesson we were introduced to studio 1. It is similar to studio 2. The main difference was the different mixer (the control 24.) The studio is there for larger recording ensembles. I ran through the set up procedure and I/O flow in my own time without any problems. It was also required to read the C24 manual, and online information about studio 1.

Creative computing.

I quick overview on organisational flags was given. Sample rate conversion was also quickly covered. Then we moved onto Spectral representation and the program “Spear.” From the lesson, the information on My Uni, and using Spear in my own time, I am quite excited about this type of sound analysis, resynthesis and manipulation.

*1 ABC Online 2006. (1 April 2006).

*2 Croggon Alison. “Monologues for an apocalypse” 2002. (1 April 2006).

*3 Radio National “Air Play Radio National 2001” Monologues from an apocalypse” 2006 (1 April 2006).

*4 The New Pollutants 2006. (1 April 2006).

*5 Pritchett, James. Kuhn, Laura. “Cage John Bibliography” Grove Music Online. 2006. (1 April 2006).

*6 Wikipedia. “Chance, John Cage Biography. Wikipedia. 27 March 2006. (1 April 2006).

Picture References (In order of appearance)

*1 Screen Shot of computer

*2 The New Pollutants media page 2006. (1 April 2006).

*3 Matt, Boynick. "John Cage" classical music pages. 10 October 2000. (1 April 2006).

*4 Deiter, Daniels. "Williams Mix Score. Media Art Net 2006. (1 April 2006)


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