Audible Frequency Range

Just a small test, a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency sweep heard as sound and seen as images. Sound and images are the same files saved in two different formats (AIFF and JPG). Images were generated chopping the audio file in very small fragments (the equivalent to one frame) and saving them first as RAW and then as JPG using Audacity and ImageMagick.

What he misses most is the sound of traffic

As he tells his father, what he misses most is the sound of traffic. It seems the noise made by trucks and taxi cabs created for him a kind of evening lullaby. Now he finds it difficult to fall asleep in the quiet.

“What about the sound of crickets?” Navidson asks.

Chad shakes his head.

“It’s not the same. I dunno. Sometimes it’s just silent… No sound at all.”

“Does that scare you?”

Chad nods.

“Why?” asks his father.

“It’s like something’s waiting.”

“What?”

Chad shrugs. “I dunno Daddy. I just like the sound of traffic.”

House of Leaves, Mark Z. Danielewski.

Psycho 60/98

WARNING: This film contains flashing images.

“Psycho” (1960) by Alfred Hitchcock and “Psycho” (1998) by Gus Van Sant collide in a frame-by-frame editing that assaults the eyeballs and assassinates the normative consciousness of the viewer. The footage seem to penetrate us, as though it was a knife or a threatening phantasmagorical entity. The fast succession of single frames and extremely short audio files produce afterimages and aftersounds—entoptic and endaural phenomena—creating a film that does not happen on the screen, but in our brain cells.

*Just a technical note for those interested on how things are made, this film consist just of both shower scenes fragmented in frames; the odd frames are the shower scene from the Hitchcock movie and the even frames are the shower scene from the Van Sant remake. No image or sound effects of any kind, just the frames. Sense-destructive cinema, enjoy! :)

The interminable murmur of the world and the hiss of static

“Before a message comes on, there is the interminable murmur of the world and the hiss of static; at once no sound and (potentially) all-sounds, murmur and static indicate that the channels are open, ready to receive the signal. In Michael Serres’ words: ‘Background noise is the necessary condition for the transmission of any message: a basic multiplicity of sound which fills the channels and spaces of communication’.”

“Structural Film: Noise”, Juan A. Suárez, in Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography.

In structural film sound does exactly the opposite

“If one of the main functions of sound in traditional filmic mimesis is to ‘naturalize’ the image and anchor it in the real, in structural film sound does exactly the opposite. It openly contradicts the visual track, abruptly appears and disappears, or changes tone, quality, or intensity without a clearly visual motivation.”

“Structural Film: Noise”, Juan A. Suárez, in Still Moving: Between Cinema and Photography.

SismografoSeries Vol.29 _blank

A mixtape made for Sismógrafo Series. The only condition was to use music published with free licences.

Tracklist:

1 Yan Jun – In for Rain [van Dieren/LUFF]
2 Bangkai Angsa – Byzantine [self-released]
3 INM.IN – Suffer Means You’re Alive [self-released]
4 COG : NULL – UGG ADDBOOTS NOISE [self-released]
5 Scrap Heap – Tentative [Oceanbase]
6 Vhom – pobv_3m58s_009 [Experimedia]
7 Salakapakka Sound System – Homoerotic Rallies of the 3rd Reich [self-released]
8 Alexei Borisov & Olga Nosova – _ASTMA IgE Untitled 14 [Picpack]
9 Apophallation – Sexual Side of Depression [Dadaist Audio]
10 Rioteer – Heavy Metal Sleep Deprivation [Vatican Analog]
11 Å – Monacal (Cistercian Period of the Abbey) [self-released]
12 Uton – Spiritual Brain Treatment [We Have No Zen!]
13 Clemens – Dead Ends [tecnoNucleo]
14 Noise Attack – Schizoid [CSIndustrial 1982-2010]
15 Sophina La Kitty – Meowzbow [self-released]
16 Katie Gately – Hymncycle [self-released by Schemawound]
17 Valentina Vuksic – Xwoaf from Floppy on Compaq Armada E500 [Zeromoon]
18 Origami Subtropika – 2 minutos [Zeromoon]
19 Marta Zapparoli – Turbulence of the Soul [Zeromoon]
20 Post-Avantist– Repeat This Mantra [self-released]
21 Yukiga Futte Uresii – Nymphomaniac Block Spiral [self-released]

I love flashing lights warnings from films and TV shows

Warning: This film contains flashing images and stroboscopic sequences

This one is from A Field in England by Ben Wheatley. I remade the original intertitle that I had because it was a bit small for a HD video.

Due to Violent Content, and Flashing Lights with Strobe Effects, Viewer Discretion Advised

This one is from Hannibal, my favourite TV series ever (it’s from “Takiawase”, season 2 episode 4). The DVD doesn’t include this warning at the beginning of the episode, but it was there when it was broadcasted on TV.

Computer Music Studies

During last month, I spent most of my time making a series of audiovisual pieces entitled Computer Music Studies. The sound, and the title, are by Mikel R. Nieto, who provided me with twenty tracks. This work was made for Nokodek Festival.

The initial idea was to make a series of audiovisual pieces based on digital feedback. That is, using configurations in which the audio output returns to the audio input, generating an internal digital feedback which usually is nonlinear and difficult to control. The sound was generated in an autonomous way using different configurations of the same pattern. (I don’t know which audio software used Mikel, if you’re interested in the sound tracks you should ask him).

The video track is not feedback, but data bending, which I guess could be understood as a kind of digital feedback because it uses a stream of data—in this case audio data—to generate another kind of file—in this case an image file. It’s not feedback, obviously, because I’m not routing the output back as an input, but in certain sense I’m routing the ‘output’ data of one format as an ‘input’ for another. In any case, it’s not generative, it was made frame by frame.

What I did was splitting the audio tracks in fragments of around 41.67 milliseconds—the equivalent to one video frame—using Audacity. I saved all those files as .raw, then I opened them in Photoshop, and I saved them as .jpg. So, what you hear and what you see are exactly the same data.

This video is just one of the twenty pieces, the complete work is around 40 minutes. It can’t be played live, because the data bending part is almost ‘handmade’—the conversion phase is not automatic, it’s painstakingly slow—, so even it was made for a music festival it’s more like a series of films than ‘live cinema’. Machine music for machines.

The noise

Don’t make a noise.
The noise of firing.
Listening to the noise.
His own noise.
Associations of the noise.
The slightest noise.
Blaring with the noise.
A distressed noise.
Followed by a noise.
The noise.

Otherwise he would collapse inwards upon the great dark void

“…life was a hollow shell all round him, roaring and clattering like the sound of the sea, a noise in which he participated externally, and inside this hollow shell was all the darkness and fearful space of death … otherwise he would collapse inwards upon the great dark void which circled at the centre of his soul … Something must come with him into the hollow void of death in his soul, fill it up, and so equalise the pressure within to the pressure without. For day by day he felt more and more like a bubble filled with darkness, round which whirled the iridescence of his consciousness, and upon which the pressure of the outer world, the outer life, roared vastly.”

Women in Love, D. H. Lawrence.