Surface Resonance…

Phase 6: Delivery of riddim exploration into a focal point, settling expressive range for vibration sound. August - November 08

This phase marks a conclusive point in my research. Through research and a composition, I found an effective domain for creating sound and vibration.

I addressed questions about sound from building materials, the abstraction of riddim, and the dialogue between the senses.

The final approaches represent a:

  • settling of the palette I wish to work from, within the context of a defined field
  • more developed approach to sound-sensation dialogue
  • comprehensive understanding of how to use the table as an instrument


Phase 6: Overview

During this phase I applied more advanced approaches to vibration generation, including collaboration, real time pitch shifting and processing, and microphonic and tactile feedback to enable deep, textured and predictably manipulable vibrations.

I also worked with new materials, including an oil drum, as well as new microphone techniques. The composition undulation brought together the research findings and practice.

Composition - undulation - Play above or click to open in new window

Overview of research outcomes

This period explored the following principal research aims:

I reflected on approaches taken to the abstraction of riddim, from rhythmic/musical, to smudged riddim, to drones, to building sensation from basic components, to stutters and plosive sensation, and modulation.

I focused on slow passages of deep undulation as an effective point within this spectrum. This approach found the right balance in my aim to reference the qualities of musical riddim, without explicit reference to musical contexts. I intend to continue to use this approach within sensation composition.

I also reflected on the timbral range from materials that I had covered in the program, including large and small objects, and subtle to harsh sounds.

I found a comfortable point in my approach to exciting objects, whereby I could express the 'potential' for vibration energy in materials, through moderate and appropriately constrained resonance/vibration, without leading into full discordant vibration sound.

By Phase 6, the overall research program had answered my questions about the capacity of vibrating materials as a basis for composition. I found a flexible enough range of sounds to base a composition entirely on vibration sounds as a source material.

However, having reached this point, I recognised that I did not need to limit myself to this approach for all future work after the conclusion of the Masters.

I also settled on the approach to sound/ sensation dialogue. During earlier research, I had experimented with entirely synched as opposed to 'contrapuntal' approaches. In the undulation composition, I maintained a general correlation between audible and vibration elements, with more subtle departures, or 'easing apart,' enabling a communicative link between the two senses.

The findings during this phase should be read in conjunction with the installation and presentation context section, which responds more specifically to thoughts around audience access and interaction with the work, in an installed context.

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Research detail subpage:   6.1 - Abstraction of "riddim" – basslines moving from musical to environmental

Reference Material