“This course involves the study of source recording, sonic manipulation and sonic installations. Although the course contains technical components, its focus is strictly aesthetic. A range of techniques will be examined, together with an investigation of current manifestations of Sonic Art in the UK and around the world, including installation art and bioacoustics. Discussion and analysis of the potential links between sound, light, structure, ecology, location and image will lead to experiments and exercises in the aesthetic and technical creation of acousmatic spaces. Students will be expected to investigate their own performance/demonstration opportunities and compose/arrange/design their creations to take account of the site-specific performance/exhibition space. Students will provide their collected exercises in a portfolio including a critical evaluation placing the student’s work in the context of current trends in sonic art as well as providing a basis for the students own criteria and judgement.” ~ from Canvas.
Deadline: (week 11) Friday 12 April 2pm;
what to submit?
A project documented as a webpage on a GitHub repository.
The webpage needs to succinctly describe your project with some text (between 300 - 500 words) and one short video (between 4 - 5 min).
The repository needs to have a ‘README.md’ file acting as your logbook.
Other supporting material e.g. pictures, videos, sound files, programming code, etc. embedded in the website or hyperlinked from it, or uploaded to the repository.
Please submit the url of your repository on Canvas.
The setup of a GitHub website is explained further in class. If you couldn’t attend this class, please check this tutorial. Planning, purpose and implementation for the project need to be in consultation with your module tutor. Progress needs to be demonstrated weekly with an up to date logbook.
introduction to the module
relationship between canvas site & this web page
basic info on canvas site
decide on deadline: week 11, (before Easter), week 12 or soon after
we need to talk about what you want to do, how the outcome of this module can be in line with what you will do after graduation
resources: last year’s resources, organise and extend them according the our decisions made today
setup of github repo for your online portfolio
share url to repository with tutor
use ‘README.md’ in the root of your repository as your logbook file with simple syntax:
this and that
waiting for enlightenment...
this and that
experimenting with website themes
watched this and that video on sound arts
created a github repo for the projects
refining my ideas for the projects
connecting my ideas for the things I want to do later to this projects
thinking of how it would serve me the most
Christopher Cox: History of Sound Art
(watch and discuss)
The presentation discusses what ‘Sound Art’ is with examples from Edison onwards. Some brief notes:
Edison - sound recording helps to create an alternative to performed sound
Russolo - noise should be appreciate as sound as well, not just orchestral sounds
Pierre Schaeffer - edited recordings of sounds, concrete music vs abstract music, abstract music is traditional music in his ears
Halim El-Dabh - recordings
John Cage, Silence, 1952, “we cannot make silence”, sonic flux
Max Neuhouse, Listen, 1966, soundwalk, installations
La Monte Young, Dream House, 1969, vedic metaphysic, inside vs outside
Tania Mauraud, connection to a visual arts;
Robert Morris, Box, …
Alvin Lucier, I’m sitting in a Room, 1970, repetition of recording, resonant frequencies
Maryanne Amacher, Synaptic Island, 1992
shift for the meaning of sound art: late 90’s early 20’s
Christian Marclay, Chorus II, 1998, The Sound of Silence, 1988, no sound
Steve Roden, Letter Forms, 2002, translation of sound into physical object
Jennie C. Jones, Decrescendo with Ledger Tone, 2014, acoustic panel used to visualize phrases in a piece of music
Christine Sun Kim, All Day, 2012, deaf artist, graphic notation, sign language, Bounce House Tokyo, 2015, sounds below 20 Herz
R. Murray Schafer, The Soundscape, book;
Jana Winderen: “Disko Bay”, 2007, she connects her interests in fish and sound
Emeka Ogboh, Lagos Soundscape, 2008, archiving changes in a city’s soundscape
Akio Suzuki, Oto date, listen point, 1996, the artist marks locations in the city where he invites people to listen, soundwalk
Christina Kubisch, Electrical Walk, 2006, soundwalk, soundwalk like minimal techno, listening to machines)
interested in soundwalks, soundscapes, nature? research R. Murray Schafer:
Ideas discussed for projects:
recording of bird sounds and playing it back to them;
alarms sounds of mobile phones (audio display);
soundscapes, nature sounds;
how confident are you in progressing with your learning outcomes? (let’s revise the learning outcomes in the MDF)
how confident are you in your understanding of what art and sonic art are?
muddy water: is there anything that isn’t clear about the assessment?
which one is more important for you: self assessment or assessment by the marker at the end of the module (summative assessment)?
does you logbook help you with your self assessment?
terminology & categorisation
Let’s brainstorm about the following ideas and use them to come up with a system that we can use to measure the outcomes from previous Sonic Art classes.
what is art?
what are the criteria for something to be considered art?
what is sonic art?
narrow down: what is and what is not sonic art?
is something more and something less sonic art?
e.g. does art or sonic art need to be timely?
e.g. does art or sonic art need to be site specific?
who decides what is art, what is sonic art?
relationship between art & science (1, 2 )(art of science?);
sonification and musification in general;
watch projects from previous CMT years (Dropbox);
measure / categorise them;
start with adding keywords;
add projects from the resources (url and pdf links)
The Turner Price
from 1984; why was it started? is controversial good? private source cash; are artists in competition with each other? the best and the worst artist is the same in one year; arts’ power to change things; “art to exhibit and having it operate in the world” is important, not the price; art in social enterprice; when it started no one liked modern art, now (perhaps with the help of this price) people like it more;
Dr James Fox explores how, in the hands of artists, the colours gold, blue and white have stirred emotions, changed behaviour and even altered the course of history. In the Age of Reason, it was the rediscovery of the white columns and marbles of antiquity that made white the most virtuous of colours. For flamboyant JJ Wickelmann and British genius Josiah Wedgwood, white embodied all the Enlightenment values of justice, equality and reason.
mixture of fearful and beautiful in an artwork (the sublime beauty in a volcano eruption);
chaos and order, mathematics is poetry;
music is mathematics for the ear;
real vs virtual;
human’s deepest property is imagination;
An Image of Sound
Photography and Sound (BBC4)
Photographer Andrew Heptinstall is embarking on a quest to see whether a photograph can deliver information over and above a pure image; details of the sound of a place that only the photographer could have known at the time of its capture. He spends a day on Hadrian’s Wall in Northumberland with blind contemporary photographer Rosita McKenzie and meets Professor Fiona Macpherson, a philosopher from Glasgow University to gain an insight into human senses and perception. His many attempts over 6 months to capture the quality of sound within his images take him on a journey as far as Australia; yet he is only at the beginning of his journey as he continues to search for An Image of Sound. ~BBC4
auditory imaginary (person specific, past experience);
5 + more senses, modalities interact in many different ways;
The assignments should be considered as your own projects, not something you have to do for me or the university. Follow the rules outlined in the module guide, assessment criteria, etc., however, please keep in mind that the outcomes of your assignments can (and should) become part of your professional portfolios, which you later can use for networking, job hunting, etc.
Due to different student experience and expectations, this outline can be subject to change. Detailed notes for each week will be added gradually to this website.