Author Archive

May 2, 2012

Nervous Structure

by gregtronel

Nervous Structure [field] is an interactive installation composed of 144 vertical lines made of elastic and illuminate by a video projector. Made in collaboration by Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza.

Annica Cuppetelli (USA) and Cristobal Mendoza (Venezuela) are artists and collaborators focusing on the creation of site-specific, multimedia installations that address issues of space, interaction, and materiality. Their installations combine traditional craft and common materials with interactive video projections and computational design processes, and they address the formal qualities of a given site while creating an immersive and participatory environment.

Video:

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May 2, 2012

A couple inspiring websites

by gregtronel

the99percent is a very interesting website filled with relevant articles!
Some selected articles worth giving a look:
Confidence VS. Shyness
5 manifestos for art, life & business
What true love has to do with innovation

A very nice website on the subject of creativity with fascinating pictures, videos and articles:
CeativityNeverEnds

an example from the above website:

By Banksy (pseudonymous England-based graffiti artist, political activist, film director, and painter)
“His satirical street art and subversive epigrams combine irreverent dark humour with graffiti done in a distinctive stencilling technique. Such artistic works of political and social commentary have been featured on streets, walls, and bridges of cities throughout the world.”

May 2, 2012

A few links

by gregtronel

Several links I came upon recently:

– Some neat music-inspired logos for graphic designers out there:
link1

– An interesting reflection on how music can help crucial design moments:
“While this list is aimed at designers, it can be applied to any field of creativity: painting, sculpting, graphic design, writing, web development, you name it. Take what you can!”
link2

– A good article on machine intelligence:
link3

April 29, 2012

Some 8bit music

by gregtronel

This is one of several experimental tracks I composed by sampling raw 8-bit sound from an old 1989 gameboy. there is a program called Little Sound DJ (flashed on a gameboy cartridge so limited by the gameboy UI capabilities..) which allows you to synthesize and customize waveforms and arrange them on a sequencer at a chosen tempo. I sampled 11 different melodic/rhythmic elements of up to 4 beats length, and exported it to Logic for editing/organizing and mixing. I chose to apply some effects (mainly delays and reverb) to make it less ‘mario’ sounding and maybe more appealing or communicative to some listeners. I highly privileged rhythm to other musical parameters as the bank of samples isn’t large (so the piece is very repetitive!) and the timbres inherently poor. The purpose of adding effects and focusing on rhythm and repeated patterns was to compose a piece that bridges chip music to some ‘higher level’ of modern electronic music (techno/electro/club…). That ‘bridging’ transition is also scaled to the chronological progression of the composition itself as the piece evolves from highly sparse/experimental to highly dense/defined with various moments of rhythmic tension and release, generally from one phase to another.

April 3, 2012

Moori

by gregtronel

Use new technologies to bridge social interaction and creativity in a musical context:

“Moori” is an audience participatory audio-visual performance created by Haeyoung Kim. His initial idea was to develop a system in which the audience is given a significant role in the performance by answering to guided questions from the performer. In opposition to the “one man” performance where the artist may wonder whether the audience is engaged or not, he/she finds an answer to that question through the live reactions of the spectators or by their comments and complements once the show is finished. The performance is designed such that users are intrigued to participate by adding their thoughts to the piece and thus contributing to the overall audio-visual output of the creation. Each audience member uses his/her own input device (iphone, ipad, ipod touch), and immediate feedback from the system gives them indications about the direct consequences of their actions. By integrating different modes of social interactions on a smart phone (text messages, dynamic interface), the participants accompany the performer by sharing ideas in the form of a question-answer type interaction. Participants are encouraged to download the Mrmr (pronounced “Murmure”) application prior to the concert. Through text inputs and multi-touch pads, user-data is processed to generate algorithmic audio and visual animations, providing a unique artistic contribution to the piece through the manipulation of the performer’s work.

Moori from haeyoung kim on Vimeo.

April 3, 2012

L2Ork

by gregtronel

“L2Ork” (http://l2ork.music.vt.edu/main/) was established in May 2009 by Dr Ivica Ico Bukvic as part of the Virginia Tech Music Department’s Digital Interactive Sound & Intermedia Studio (DISIS). Their main intention was to couple traditional instruments with new accessible technologies, through a network of independently controlled laptops. Its primary focus, unlike other known laptop orchestras such as PLOrk (Princeton) and SLOrk (Standford), is on a more developed corporal presence and physical performance. They opted for a Nintendo Wiimote as the “sound modulator” device in order to gain greater motion range and agility as well as additional functions (analog joystick, IR camera, multiple buttons…), whereas PLOrk and SLOrk rely on accelerometers built into their hardware. In an article from http://turbulence.org, Helen Thorington states: “The standardized use of Wiimote controllers and their extensions establishes an embodied performance and visual indexing of each laptop performer’s sound influenced by traditional instrumental performance gestures to control synthesized digital sound as well as captured acoustic audio samples in composed and improvised contexts.” Each performer also uses a hemispherical speaker to generate a local “existence” of sound proper to each performing spot. L2Ork behaves as a complex musical realm where improvisation, physical gestures and technology allow the creation of interesting musical experiences. The creative process comes with an interactive exchange of ideas and conceptions among tightly networked individuals of different backgrounds and capabilities. Diversity, technology and music making in a social environment often lead to fun and original performances!
Example of their work: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFt4MgN7JPQ&feature=player_embedded

March 8, 2012

What makes us interpret a form of art as something we like?

by gregtronel

Here is a little story around this concept:

A man sat at a metro station in Washington DC and started to play the violin; it was a cold January morning. He played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, since it was rush hour, it was calculated that thousand of people went through the station, most of them on their way to work.

Three minutes went by and a middle aged man noticed there was musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried up to meet his schedule.

A minute later, the violinist received his first dollar tip: a woman threw the money in the till and without stopping continued to walk.

A few minutes later, someone leaned against the wall to listen to him, but the man looked at his watch and started to walk again. Clearly he was late for work.

The one who paid the most attention was a 3 year old boy. His mother tagged him along, hurried but the kid stopped to look at the violinist. Finally the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. All the parents, without exception, forced them to move on.

In the 45 minutes the musician played, only 6 people stopped and stayed for a while. About 20 gave him money but continued to walk their normal pace. He collected $32. When he finished playing and silence took over, no one noticed it. No one applauded, nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the best musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written with a violin worth 3.5 million dollars.
Two days before his playing in the subway, Joshua Bell sold out at a theater in Boston and the seats average $100.

This is a real story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of an social experiment about perception, taste and priorities of people. The outlines were: in a commonplace environment at an inappropriate hour: Do we perceive beauty? Do we stop to appreciate it? Do we recognize the talent in an unexpected context?
[http://urbanlegends.about.com/od/music/a/violinist_metro.htm]
__________________________________
A possible conclusion could be:
The concept of ‘good music’ seem to be directly related to the environment in which the music is performed and how we interpret it when it falls outside the realm of our expectations.
Moreover, if we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world playing some of the most virtuosic music ever written, what else are we missing?

March 7, 2012

Music to evoke thoughts

by gregtronel

Music can be used to express ideas and feelings. In this context, I composed this piece of organized sounds as an attempt to bridge musical creativity to some other levels of abstraction inherent to human condition.
This electro-acoustic composition intends to capture reverie and aleatoric thinking. The piece is both melodically and rhythmically ill-defined and only possesses a larger-scale structure expressed by varying levels of tension and release as well as sequential transitions of static and dynamic phases. Some fuzzy/glitchy events may emerge to progressively give a sense of harmony through short instants of rhythmic synchronization. The intent being to sonically translate how chaotic and disoriented thoughts can sometimes materialize into fragments of unexpected substance.

January 25, 2012

A.I. as a contribution to musical creativity?

by gregtronel

Videos at: http://www.gtcmt.gatech.edu/research-projects/shimon

“It is amazing to see Shimon improvise and interact with human musicians. Imagine a pianist playing a musical phrase followed by the robot, who builds on this input with a new improvised sequence. A fellow guitar player can then enhance Shimon’s ideas, leading to new responses that could inspire the humans to play in ways they have never played before. The result is not only novel and expressive human-robotic interaction, but also great new music”. (http://www.gtcmt.gatech.edu)

In a nutshell, in the context of AI being involved in the creative process, the machine itself may not be the mean by which artistic creation is built, but rather the combination, the coordination of actions and perceptions from both the machine and the artist. Such collaboration may give rise to a musical experience that is not accessible by human-to-human type interaction and inspires players to communicate in novel expressive manners, which naturally leads to novel musical outcomes.

January 25, 2012

Origami ‘How-to’

by gregtronel