Thursday 16th June
June 16th, 2016
9am and I am at the Berliner Lastenrad Netzwerk, Alt-Treptow with founder Christophe Vaillant. The BLN is a social project that designs and builds cargo bikes by recycling discarded/donated/broken bikes in different projects all over the city. I met Christophe 2 weeks ago and we have a plan to make a sonic cargo bike later in the year, but are first meeting to design and build a speaker bar for our Berlin Sonic bikes. Looking at models we’ve used so far, we come up with the above approach which a couple of hours later, in bright summer heat is made. How to attach the speakers to the bar though is not so straightforward. We have several options and retreat to research alternatives.
Super inspiring to have hooked up with such a project. Sonic bikes in Berlin are beginning to look as if they really will grow their own strand.
Wednesday 15th June
June 15th, 2016
9am Practical session, Floor 5, Electronics building, TU. Hall effect sensor fine tuning and application.
We are re-positioning the 2 Hall effect sensors made last week on sonic bike_berlin between the
1. front wheel spokes and inside bike frame by rim to measure cyclist’s speed, and
2. bike stem and handlebars to measure cyclists’s riding, wobbling and turning action.
Check how handlebar sensor is surprisingly sensitive to small turns. Next step is to tune this for riding.
Data stream created and audio produced is through a teensy connected to the RPi2 running Pd as before.
Monday 13th June
June 13th, 2016
10am. Studio 1. Studio 1, Audio Communications Group, 3rd floor, TU Berlin. Abundant massive rain delays attendance so we decide to postpone this weeks lecture:
[~ Lecture 7 . Which sound sources and why? Exploring the social and historical sound choice sources for on site composition in context. 1. individuals, society, community, methods of engagement. 2. human, geographic, geological, historical ~]
to next and focus on Tiergarten compositions. Solving technical issues and checking everyone’s action so far, we, between rain clouds, get on the sonic bike to test. Solo pieces are made rather than collective, so everyone needs to be independant.
Sunday 12th June
June 12th, 2016
Zaragoza. Not only hospitable but surprisingly cycle friendly. Check above design of hire city bikes. The venue for the Festival was a new conversion of an old mill and only 3 months open. With concert being free, and location out of the centre, audience ranged from trendy youth to 60 something couples dressed up for a Saturday night out. Thanks and onwards Antony !
Friday 10th June
June 10th, 2016
Good to be back in Spain. Last time was May 2015 with Francisco Lopez and Lee Patterson. Now I’m alone, buzzing through Madrid heading for Zaragoza. Feeling truly European having flown over this huge continent without having deal with UK border details. I’ve been invited to play the closing night of Radical dB festival and Love Shark will be on the menu. Hammers gather as starter. Frankly, it’s also good to be off bicycles for a moment.
Wednesday 8th June
June 9th, 2016
11am – 6pm. Studio 1. Audio Communications Group, 3rd floor, TU Berlin.
Extraordinary practical workshop no.2 with Sukander Kartadinata
Back in the lab with Sukander, now to build sensors onto the sonic bike. We agree to begin with the Hall Effect sensor, previously successfully used in BRI London lab, and soon have a pulse produced from 4 small magnets placed near rim on wheel spokes spinning through field created with other magnet on behind front wheel frame.
We discuss which other cyclist actions could be easily measured and agree on handle bar positioning. Careful positioning of 2 magnets on either side of bike front stem and stiffened break cables produce surprisingly sensitive results. Progress!
Note that the data stream created and audio produced is through a teensy connected to the RPi running Pd as before.
Monday 6th June
June 6th, 2016
10am. Studio 1. Studio 1, Audio Communications Group, 3rd floor, TU Berlin. Berlin Lab Bike is charged and loaded with the start of a piece I’m making for the Tiergarten. It’s hot and everyone has gathered with bikes. Our now dedicated group has a wide range of skills which mixed across practical and theoretical classes needs an edited approach to the one I posted for this course. Today I’m introducing composition into our theoretical considerations.
Lecture 6. Aural architecture inside and out.
I present Sonic Bike mapper, our online mapping tool that allows the linking of specific sound files to different zones read by GPS from the bike, and after making some rudimentary maps, we set off to the Tiergarten. The park is densely green and fresh, bird song massive, car stream down its peripheral roads continuous so as not to be too invasive, with it being lost when we go deeper into the trees. Surprising how many people are walking around. Sounds from the bike range from rhythmic noise with the traffic side path, to pings and dongs and simple bending tones that rise and fall surprisingly low. Its the first time I’ve worked with mini-rig speakers in a park. They’re still impressive and this is without sub which we’ll add later.
We stop and talk, listen some more sitting on the grass and I introduce the idea of the acoustic arena we’re working in. An acoustic arena, whose content and acoustic horizons are always changing over time anyway, but with this roving sound source we are adding, contributing another layer of complexity.Depending on how you look at it. We discuss different approaches. Sounds to enhance, destroy, transform, complement what is present. Adding ‘silence’ and listening to the space for the rider. Content, harmonies, rhythms, silence, music, multiple bikes, solo bikes.
Back in the studio, we agree we will make pieces for the Tiergarten and or TU campus. That we’ll present them to the public in the Tiergarten on Saturday 16th July and the Audio communications day on Monday 18th July. Onwards,
Wednesday 1st June
June 1st, 2016
9am Practical session, Floor 5, Electronics building, TU. Good morning SSH ing raspberry pis to laptops creating the ultimate ‘working in the field’ situation. It’s terminal typing stuff and once you’re in with brilliant teacher David Runge to guide, it’s easy and clear. Stunningly enabling to move beyond the fear that can be the impenetrable wall of the interface. eg. check above, sdcard and RPi now have sonic permissions. ie. I, the user can write to a USB stick on the RPi from my laptop. We learn and should be ready for sensor building with Sukander session2 next week. Progress.
Monday 30th May
May 30th, 2016
Last nights Live Electronics student concert at UdK Conzert Salle. Good to hear the variety of approaches, we sitting on the polished floor, sounds morphing and moving through us, serious performers striding backwards and forwards, the summer stormed leaves slapping silently behind.
10am. Studio 1. Audio Communications Group, 3rd floor, TU Berlin.
Lecture 5. Understanding listening through the use and variety of contexts. Continuing from last week, we begin by listening to Espèces d’espaces,(2002) one of Bernard Parmiagani’s final works. We’re interested in his different, momentary and precise use of various field recordings throughout : voices, birds, bees, thunder, a crow and finally voice that’s morphed to abstraction but percussively played between L and R speaker as if chatting. These moments act as conduits to the ‘real’ world, creating a way in for unfamiliar ears and at the same time destroying any abstract world an involved listener might be in. Each time he does this, the moments become more abstracted so that the departure from the place he’s making for us is less. At the same time, he’s using familiar techniques, such as melody which appear in small filtered moments creating tension and expectation to seduce us with.
Then its Acoustic Ecology, R.Murray Schafer, Hildegard Westekamp and soundscapes. Again a practice that requires reduced listening, but the approach with context is utterly different. Again using recordings as the technique, sounds are recorded and then re-placed into the ears of the listener wherever they choose to listen. We listen to Kit’s Sound walk(1989) and discuss Westekamp’s use of essentially narrative voice. Again the context she takes us to is quite destroyed by her descriptive voice which becomes more fabled as she proceeds.
Maryanne Amacher’s approach is quite different. Her three year listen in on the Boston harbour, piped by telephone line to her studio being unknown to many. Also that her reason for doing this was not so much wanting to hear the harbour sounds but more to listen to what she was hearing in shape, form and dynamic so as to be able to try to understand how we hear and then use that understanding to compose. Psychoacoustics. Curious that this field and knowledge that humans create other harmonic tones in their ears when listening creating subliminal meaning is something so hidden for so long.
The approaches of the bicrophonic composer can be wide ranging. Moving human hearing systems of vastly different listening skills riding through changing sonic landscapes and that’s before anything is coming out of the speakers or the visua landscape is considered.
Friday 27th May
May 27th, 2016
Great day. Finally getting to really play this super studio. 12 channels of Meyer plus subs. Fireface interface. Can’t go wrong. After 4 years of composing, writing and directing for stereo sound sources through moving contexts, the play of shapes through static space making new ones is thrilling. Nay, more like meaningful. Curious.