Saturday, November 26, 2005

Had a conceptual breakthrough with a sound art installation that I'm working on (i.e., planning) today. Tentatively I'm calling it "Connective Emergence: A Sound Art Installation." The basic idea to create a sound space that isolates the viewer/listener, and interacts with their presence. There will be two separate sound generating units, and both will interact with the audience, and this will all take place in a smallish portable enclosure that will be built out of PVC pipe, styrofoam, cardboard and sheets. The audience will have to enter the space to interact with the installation.

The first sound generating system will consist of a series of microphones hanging from the top of the installation, and a mixer, various effects (such as delays, phasers, flangers, and reverbs), and two portable FM transmitters, and a bunch of small, cheap FM radios hanging in various places around the space. As an audience member gets close to a microphone, their voice will reverberate all around the space, as the sound of their voice is sent to the mixer, then through two separate effects paths, and then broadcast on two separate radio frequencies, and then picked up by the various FM radios.

The second sound generating system will consist of a pad or mat (like this one), with each pad or sensor wired to a key on a cheap MIDI keyboard, and then the MIDI signal from the keyboard sent to a MIDI USB interface like this into my laptop, and from there into Ableton Live. As the audience steps on the mat, they will trigger MIDI notes in Live, controlling a VST synth or two (maybe Cygnus since I'm going for a 'space' feel here). The result will be amplified into the space.

At the end of the space will be a small platform with several circuit bent toys that the audience can play with and make noise with. More than likely the laptop and mixer and so on will be hidden outside of the enclosure, behind it, with a small space for me to operate/meddle if needed.

I'm also thinking about getting several sets of christmas lights that slowly fade in and out instead of blinking, and putting them in some opague glass enclosures, for extra visual ambience.

Not sure if I could actually convince anyone to let me put this up at an art event. It's going to end up being a pretty wierd experience, I think. I'm hoping I could do something like this at a future Art Amiss event.

If anyone is willing to collab on maybe some video stuff for this, let me know. I'm fairly clueless about that.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

I haven't really had much to recommend lately, other than the latest George R. R. Martin Song of Ice and Fire book, A Feast for Crows (simply amazing. there's a write-up on Martin in the latest Time magazine). But I saw a book at work yesterday that is, to put it bluntly, so funny it made my butt hurt. That book is "Me Write Book: It Bigfoot Memoir." If you get a chance, you should read it. It's by Graham Roumieu.

Some things I hate:

Commercials by Roni Deutch, the ones where she screams "Twenty dollars!"
Those stupid work at home commercials. Bleh.
The fact that Paula Deen, a seemingly very sweet and lovely Southern lady, wants to put mayonaise in seemingly every damn recipe. Mayonaise is not an ingredient. It's the result of a hideous dare, or the discharge of some undead thing-that-should-not-be.

Anecdote: An older lady came in today and returned the latest Oprah selection, A Million Little Pieces, because of the 'filthy language' contained therein. She then wanted Oprah's address, because she wanted to know why she would endorse 'such filth.' She also documented all the 'curse words' that she found in the first few pages, including several instances of 'Jesus Christ' and the word 'piss.'

Did she not WATCH the show? The book is clearly about a DRUG ADDICT and his fight with addiction. Doesn't it stand to reason that there might be some 'objectionable' content? Ugh.

Often times, people with certain crosses to bear or with particular agendas will come into the bookstore and complain about some content in some book that we sell. One of the things I love about working in a bookstore is that we're a free marketplace of ideas and ideals. Adults are free to buy or not buy any content, no matter how objectionable the ideas or words might or might not be. I try not to let it get to me that some people just won't get that through their thick skulls.

Some things I love:

Gentle kisses from my wife.
The way her hair smells after taking a shower.
Tree houses.
Peanut butter sandwiches with a glass of milk.
Kang Pa Nang (Thai red chicken curry).
A small glass of port.
Ska and reggae music.
Glitchy, atmospheric electronic music.
Making glitchy, atmospheric electronic music.
Our fireplace.
The way each of our cats are so unique, so individual. They're really little people. Without thumbs.

I'm a man of simple pleasures, really. A man of the people, if you will. :)

Happy Thanksgiving to all you jamooks out there. We're going down to Little Rock to see family. Hope everyone has a safe and warm holiday.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

So, inspired by a link over on the ol' Metafilter, I went over to and went exploring. I found this written about a little thing called Carrot Au Lait:

"I’m going to make it a personal mission of mine to race through the streets shaking people violently, screaming “THIS DRINK IS DISGUSTING AND THE EMPEROR IS NAKED” until either people understand and companies stop selling this foul-tasting opportunistic rubbish, or I get run over by a huge truck carrying a shipment of acorn jam to the citizens of crackpot land."

Had me laughing quite a bit. Think I might read some more of this chap.

In the it's a small world after all category, I saw William Chesser at Hugo's the other night. If you're reading this Will, 'Hi there.' Anyway, conversation came around to Will (who incidentally did not go to AGS with me, but I do believe that he attended a few years later) possibly going for Brad Lawless's (an old friend of mine from AGS) job after he leaves it to start his own company (hope I got that right). Then Ken, who's sitting right next to me (and also related to me tangentially through mutual friends that went to AGS with me), tells me that he took Brad's old job at Tyson. Seriously. Small world. It's even crazier and wierder than that, but I won't go into that here, since it involves old girlfriends and so on.

Anyone else think that the word verification on blogger looks like Welsh? "zwmkgskl"

Oh yeah, via getlofi, is this cool project over at ruinProjects. Click on the "Portable Modular." That's very close to what I have in mind for my massive circuit bending, DIY synth project, except mine's going to be more on the circuit bending/using found circuits side of things, a la David Tudor. Still need to find a proper case for the project, and I think that a portable turntable like what Jomdom is using here is very cool, and I might look for something like that.