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Static Noise


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This is not what most people would call music. If anything, this comes under Indeterminacy or Aleatoric Music.

This is a demonstration of the scene change music that I wrote for the Monash production of Revengers Tragety (the actual pieces of music were No15 and Koto Smashing Madness). This was originally concieved for a surround sound mix, but has been reproduced for stereo listening.

What is happening here is random samples from different 'theme' files are being played at a random time, at a random position in the 3D space. They are being compressed in varying ways and the level of this compression inversly effects the level of noise. Overal values such as selected 'theme', level of noise, size of sample and density are all being controlled by the user (or in this case, a demonstration midi file).

The general idea behind this is was to create a somewhat uneasy surrounding for the audience and the 'theme's reflect this. The program is selecting from samples including plain radio noise, forienge news reports and different samples relating to war and suffering.

The way that I have written the software for this piece, the level of indeterminacy and size of the theme files (approx 15 files at 3 - 5 minutes each) means that the music is almost infinitely repeatable. There were several times during the early creation of this where I remember just listening to the sound for 20 minutes on end... though this was slightly disturbing also.

Anyway, a 2:18 example of what can be done with this. Note that this is a somewhat subdude example too as there is much less offensive material in this take than the others I have recorded.
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Uploaded: Oct 15, 2005 - 11:06:38 AM
Last Updated: Nov 04, 2005 - 09:01:14 AM Last Played: Mar 19, 2019 - 11:00:14 AM
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rik said 5085 days ago (October 16th, 2005)
With a surround soundstage it must be quite imposing on spectators'
mind. Add that sitting in a theatre seat makes your mind more receptive
and willing to subdue to suggestions :)
Spoken samples are powerful, they quite have a soul and constitute a sort
of immediately utilizable source of energy.
Check out my latest song called Kind of Electric
_nderscore said 5085 days ago (October 16th, 2005)
control, content
i want less static, more control.. can legibility be made a factor of the
programming? some additional randomness in volume would be
interesting, some repeating elements & more layers (different content).
kinda cool, listening again..

check out 'chaostrophy' by COIL for an example of where something like
this could go. it's really beautiful

i like these experiments & how you are working with 'music' from a
different direction. too bad we can't see the accompanying production
Check out my latest song called kolors wash
The Composer said 5084 days ago (October 17th, 2005)
control, content
As mentioned before there is a direct control over the volume of the noise,
approx. sample length, density and speed of movement. There are currently
up to 5 sound sources playing at one time out of 15 different sound banks...
there is also some randomness in the volume of the sounds (the compression
settings are randomised) so I think there is certainly some of what you want
in there... however this being only a short demonstration means that very
little of this can be identified.

This being said, just about everything can be changed as a matter of
programing... the more I familiarise myself with Max/MSP the more I find I
can do with it. The program is at a stage where it can be finely controlled by
a user or midi file... or left to its own devices for extended periods of time
without becomming repetitive (this was idea for the production since the
Sound and AV guy would be able to just set it, turn it down a little and leave it
while he worked out all his other cues)... once again, you would need to listen
to this for long time before you would easily start noticing things repeating.

Eitherway, there are some thoughts about how this could go from here (in a
slightly different direction)... perhaps being able to 'grab' sounds so they
repeat until desired or effected in different ways... in other words... try to
make this more of a performance piece than an ever-changing sound scape.

Thats for another time though... I've got assignments and exams right now.
Thankyou both for your comments.

The Composer, previously known as The Pianist who hasn't played the piano in a while...
Check out my latest song called Blood Is Boiling (By Faeble)
allsaints said 5084 days ago (October 17th, 2005)
I found this quite interesting; certainly any attempt to construct
"music" in a different way will interest me. In some respect it reminds
me of what Cage did and very much the tape experiments that
Burroughs/Gysin did. I'm curious as to how much of an "uneasy"
feeling you managed to create in the audience? I ask this because I felt
no unease in the least, even after repeated listening. The song
sounded in many regards as though a person flipping through the
stations, and in today's world, that involves hearing about constant
catastrophes, upheavels, and unrest. Also, none of the sounds were in
the least jarring or grating or even irritating. This is to say, your mix
was very smooth and professional. I am also curious how having
snippits of "foreign" newscast can create an uneasy feeling. Especially
with each day the world becomes smaller and smaller. But I feel like
I'm being too harsh. Your program sounds really interesting and this
approach has much potential. I will always be interested in hearing any
further results, so please post them.
Check out my latest song called Color Permutation Of Composition Two
The Composer said 5084 days ago (October 17th, 2005)
In regards to it not being as uneasy... I did mention before that this was one
of the less explicit piece. But perhaps I should elaborate on it.

There are some sound banks that after listening to them in context can get a
little disturbing. One of the ones that isn't here (copyright reasons) is a
string of different clips of aggressive music (lots of swearing and in general
doesn't sound happy).

The others are Panic, War, Gunfire, Shockandawe, Leaders and the English
news reports.

The gunfire and war banks are self explanitory, but by themselves they arn't
too graphic. Shockandawe is a minute recording of the beginning of the Iraq
war... which once again isn't too disturbing. If anything, things start to get a
little dark when you listen to the Leaders, Panic and English news reports for
a while (once again, not much of a chance here). The English news reports
have a strong bias to reports regarding September 11 and other Iraq related
information. The leaders include some dictators such as Adolf Hitler, Stalin,
Pol Pot, Castro (And some people would say Bush).

Its the panic bank that probably gets me, possibly because I actually had to
see alot of the footage involved when auditioning them. And it basically
includes alot of stuff that had pretty graphic visual accompianment (its
disgusting whats on the internet these days)... but the sound is mostly people
screaming... reacting to things like people dying, tourture, a suicide and
September 11 (theres a couple of talking about people jumping out of
buildings). And its after you hear a good dose of people screaming and
crying when the other sounds gain the darker connotations. Once again, not
something that you can really hear in the short clip (part of this is between 1:
20 and 2min... but is largely obscured by noise).

If you want proof I can easily make you a more focused clip.

As for sounding like your changing channels on the TV... well that was the
originally idea to begin with. Thanks for your comments.

The Composer, previously known as The Pianist who hasn't played the piano in a while...
Check out my latest song called Blood Is Boiling (By Faeble)
allsaints said 5084 days ago (October 17th, 2005)
Thanks for elaborating. The more you explain the full scope of your project, or
projects, the more intriguing it sounds. The experiments that incorporate
sounds of war, noise, and panic, sound more like I invisioned the work to be.
Again, I would be interested in hearing more.
Check out my latest song called Color Permutation Of Composition Two
said 5083 days ago (October 18th, 2005)
well done
Although its been said that there is no 'music' in this piece, I think it was
constructed very well and "flows" nicely. Very minimalist, although the
actual construction probably took a lot of work. Would definetly like to
hear more...
atonalis said 5068 days ago (November 2nd, 2005)
did you draw this out? on staff paper? i thought that was a method whereby you compose visually and then interperet those "drawings" on the staff paper into sounds........ hmmmm i'm probably not explaining myself too well. but i did enjoy this quite a bit. i love white noise anyway. but the intermittency of the "transmissions" created an excellent atmosphere for me.
Check out my latest song called lit with a wet match.
DeComposer said 5062 days ago (November 8th, 2005)
dude, sub subdued?
Where's the sub, dude?

Dude, sub is subdued!
The Composer said 5062 days ago (November 8th, 2005)
dude, sub subdued?
This version is totally as is. There was no mixing or editing involved
whatsoever, its just as it came out. Though in the 5.1 version, I did provide
the sub controls (mostly because on my lecturers 5.1 system... even on the
minimun volume, anything under 120hz is blasted out of the subwoofer). I
am actually intending on uploading another version of this piece soon, so I'll
take that change to add some more bass frequencies into the mix... from
experience I know it really bring out the explosions nicely.

Btw, nice selection of words. Very minimalistic :P

To Atonalis: Aleatoric music (or aleatory) is music in which some element of
the composition is left to chance or some primary element of a composed
work's realization is left to the determination of its performer(s)
(Taken from Wikipedia)

Yes, often Aleatoric music involves visual material, but not always. In this
piece in particular, I controlled the density of the music, the sound source,
level of noise, length of samples etc... and the computer took care of the
chance side which was choosing which part of the sound sources to play
from, how long and where in the stereo (or quad) space to play them in.

The Composer, previously known as The Pianist who hasn't played the piano in a while...
Check out my latest song called Blood Is Boiling (By Faeble)
Genre Info
Experimental music is any music that challenges the commonly accepted notions of what music is. There is an overlap with avant-garde music. John Cage was a pioneer in experimental music and defined and gave credibility to the form. As with other edge

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