The QUADwrangle interactive sound sculpture project at Arts Centre Melbourne is all done and dusted (for now!)

Arts Centre Melbourne’s youth programmer Dan West arranged for this video to be made, which sum up the project’s aims and intentions pretty well.

During the second weekend session we battled a bit to get our awesome sculptural object to wired up to the two MaKeyMaKey Arduino boards. But once it was finally working, and in the Fairfax Theatre foyer space , it sprung to life and happily interacted with the general public  for five days straight!

There were four stations where people could play the sculpture, each with a sound set that corresponded to the object’s design. The fence section played bass notes, the brick section played harmony, the tiles played melody, and the diamond wall section played rhythms.

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Sound came out of four speakers than were set up in various places within the sculpture. Two up high, two down low. The bass sounds and big kick sounds all come out of the low positioned speakers, and more melodic and ‘toppy’ rhythmic sounds came out of the high positioned speakers.

Central to the sculpture making sound were two MaKeyMaKey boards that sent QWERTY key messages to Ableton Live 9. These MaKeyMaKey boards are triggered by making a connection between the boards earth, which were wired to copper plates on the sculpture, and to various other points that were wired up to black conductive paint.IMG_4282

Have a look at Flick, Ayten and Kelsey demoing it during the construction phase.

Each QWERTY key command was assigned to various ‘gestures’ within Ableton Live 9. I say gestures, because each key command triggered a number of different actions simultaneously such as triggering an audio or midi clip at the same time as triggering FX chains and movement between the four speakers.

One example of how this triggering of gestures worked is the letter “R” (see screen grab below). When the point on the sculpture triggered Capital R, this then triggered the key command gestures that were assigned in Live 9.

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“R” was set up to trigger a simple melodic riff, but if held down for long enough also triggered a ‘resonation FX chain’ that would gradually fade in to make the whole object become awash with a harmonically rich reverb sound. This was accomplished by the triggering of “dummy clips” on the Output channels, which have no audio information, but instead hold automation data. These clips were set up Gate mode, so they would only play when held down.

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These channels received audio from each of the four sound sources through their respective sends. In this way, at any time we could route any of the different sounds within the sculpture to any or all of the four speakers in any combination.

Below is the Fence Bass being routed to sends B & D, which in turn were being sent to outs 2 and 4, the speakers located near the ground.

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We also had a series of field records that acted as an underscore for the sculpture, so that the object wasn’t silently sitting there when people were not interacting with it.

This underscore slowly moved around each of the four speakers through send level automation, once again created within a dummy clip.

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This project was really super fun, and great to work with the wonderful staff at Arts Centre Melbourne, and the talented and creative young people who recorded the sounds, designed the sculpture and wired it all up to work!

Check out their various soundcloud and web links:

https://soundcloud.com/felicity-yang

https://soundcloud.com/ayten

https://soundcloud.com/jordanoba

https://soundcloud.com/donald-uren

https://soundcloud.com/niconiquo

https://soundcloud.com/connor-black-harry

http://www.khendersondesign.com/

Rehearsals have begun for a fantastic project I’m involved with called The Radio Hour. It is part of the Melbourne Writer’s Festival inconjunction with ABC Radio National.

This is a full scale live production – a night of non-fiction story-telling on the theme ‘When Words Fail’, presented live on stage by the writer/s/producers themselves, and scored live my some super-talented musicians. The night will be recorded live for broadcast on Radio National’s 360 Documentaries program.

I’m part of a band with Biddy Connor (Sailor Days, Laura Jean band) & Dan Marsh (Human Face) performing a live soundtrack.

Telling stories on the night…

Writer & documentarian John Safran.

Benjamin Walker (USA) host of Radiotopia podcast Benjamin Walker’s Theory of Everything.

Award-winning Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo.

ABC Radio National’s 360 Documentaries ,executive producer Claudia Taranto.

Roving reporter/radio producer Emily Richmond (USA).

Plus: A special appearance by First Chorus: Band Of Singers.

All put together by the wonderful producer and host  Jaye Kranz.

On this coming Sunday I am presenting and performing at the Ableton Live 9/Push Launch event in Melbourne. I’m presenting about the Toy Harmonium instrument I made that was featured on www.ableton.com.

I’ve been busy putting something together to perform at it that uses the Generative piece that I created for the Toy Harmonium Instrument, and I’ve kind of done a bit of a live mashup with a track off my last album Sunday Morning called “Gotta Sleep Now’.

This live version features Live 9, a Livid Block, Teenage Engineering’s OP-1 synth, Live Guitar looping and processing, as well as vocal samples by the wonderful Susannah Legge.

The press blurb…

Following on from the successful single launch and coinciding art exhibition Winterpark is warming up for the official “Sunday Morning” album launch this spring. The show is a one off performance at the Grace Darling Hotel in Collingwood on Friday 16th September to celebrate the release of his third album.

Winterpark is the collaborative studio project for Melbourne’s Matt Ridgway, born out of the ashes of his indie-punk rock dreams. “Sunday Morning” is the long awaited third offering from the Melbourne artist which boasts a collection of atmospheric and heartfelt tracks, as well as a handful of catchy upbeat tunes that effortlessly echo the ebbs and flow of Matt’s musical career.

Last month saw Winterpark perform at the opening of the “Sunday Morning” art exhibition, held at the Dear Patti Smith galley in Fitzroy, to launch the first single Night Beetle. The exhibition displayed a collection of works by 14 different local and international artists, who each gave their creative interpretation to a track from the album, with artworks varying from photographs and light installations, to paintings and new media.

The Grace Darling launch will be the first full live performance in over a year, where Winterpark will treat Melbourne fans to a one off gig that showcases the songs from the new album as well as throwing in a few old favourites.

Matt will be performing alongside Susannah Legge (formerly of the Hampdens) who has leant her vocals to a number of tracks on the album, and Dan West (Diafrix/Velure). The wonderful Eugenia Lim will also be providing visuals for the performance.

Fellow Melbournite Ross McLennan and Popolice will be joining in the celebration, supporting Winterpark perfoming new material.