Surface Resonance…

Phase 3: Building approaches for playing the table, exploring sound-sensation interactions. August 07 – November 07

This phase was a substantial expansion on the ideas seeded through Phase 2. Through composition, I researched the vibration sensation experience, asking questions about how sensation is perceived.

I broadened the range of materials placed on the table to generate sound, using large-scale building materials.

I responded to challenges in using the table as both a device for creating sound and as a vibration instrument.


Phase 3: Overview

I furthered my experiments with deep bass guitar drones and tactile transducer feedback. I focused on what would work as vibration sensation, rather than as sound generated through the table.

I recognised that there were inevitably some audible sounds generated by the table, and developed ambiences to work with these sounds, to complete the vibro-acoustic experience.

Next, I used the table to resonate building materials such as windowpanes and sheet metal. This provided a new palette of sounds to work with the sensation experience. The materials offered new approaches to playability and expression when making vibration sound.

A first complete composition gutterglass embodied this research. It helped me understand how sensation, when combined with sound, affects auditory perception, and how vibration could work in a vibro-acoustic narrative.

Gutterglass - Play above or click to open in new window

Please note that dynamic range and listening level vary from other audio samples provided in recent pages. The volume may need to be increased. The materials page has further notes on the work.

Overview of research outcomes

I explored the following principal research aims:

The research and composition process set the building blocks for the rest of the masters program, on how the senses interact, the sorts of sounds I could create with building materials, and the sort of vibration territory that worked most naturally.

I addressed a unique compositional challenge bought about from making vibro-acoustic work.

I worked with vibration and sound, but sometimes couldn’t experience these together. I had to imagine the role one sense would play, while working on the other element of the work. I developed a software interface to make this process more intuitive, and reflected on how this challenge defined the approach I took to composition.

This package of work formed a foundation for the rest of my research, as it asked questions around the role vibration might play within the narrative of a vibro-acoustic work, and whether the acoustic or vibration element should ‘lead’ the structuring of a composition.

Other outcomes were predominately about strengthening and applying my earlier findings in creation of a work, and focusing on compositional approaches that seemed most successful for both sensation and hearing.

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Research detail subpage:   3.1 - Tactile system as an instrument - composing for the body, and generating sound

Reference Material