Saturday, January 16, 2010

Having 3rd Thoughts

Well, here I go again. I started testing with creating animated content for this second idea and I just can't get myself to feel passionate enough about my current plan, perhaps for for two reasons. The first being every time I see something associated with the audio I wish to manipulate, it is never an animation that I associate with the action. It is always a real, tangible motion from the real world. No matter the abstraction in the sound, my mind tries to form fit it to reality, to make since of it. I love this interaction. I'm starting to realize that though many musicians and artists desire to believe that their audio is not supposed to represent something tangible, but rather elicit a response as abstract as the emissions they create, rather I'm realizing that I love creating abstraction and seeing what tangible actions the sounds evoke.

In a practical sense, every time I think about devising a well-rounded animation AND an audio piece that both coincide cohesively, I lose my breath. I firmly believe I don't have the time to create something this large in scope in the time allotted (not well anyway). I have been working on creating solid animated films with 5+ people in the past and these take more time to develop than the time I have at hand! Plus, I have been working with music and audio most of my life. Animation I have just picked up the last year and a half or so, and don't feel that I have enough life experience with it to tackle an entire project based around animated motion. In the end, I want to create a single well designed piece, not anything remotely half-assed.

Beyond these practical limitations in mind, I have reached deep into my heart and mind and have come to realize exactly what Toby McKes told me last year at his thesis exhibition. He mentioned that he was first thinking of creating an elaborate sound installation for his thesis, ran some experiments, but in the end, he went back to what he was jazzed up from when he first joined DXArts, namely creating a well thought out audio piece, no install strings attached. In my case, when I entered DXArts, I was enthralled by the possibilities of live performance and audio with the modern tools at hand. The thing that gets me excited is thinking about the possibilities with modern technology allowing us to better express ourselves as artists in live performance.

I have been having meetings with Nicolas and have been very inspired by his SPK project, as well as shooting the breeze with a buddy who works at Guitar Center. In both cases, I share a passion for the design of not only audio but for the design and transmission of audio. Over the last week, I have found myself pulled to creating and playing with audio interfaces in new and exciting ways, and am totally back to how I felt when I entered the program: simply excited. People keep asking me when I excitedly show them a new interactive setup "what class is that for?" I just stare blankly and think yeah I should get back to my school work. No reason I can't marry this passion with my thesis! (In fact, I feel it'd be a crime NOT to!)


I am officially changing my thesis to be a performance-based piece that involves the design and fabrication of a device. The premise is simple (and will hopefully flourish in its simplicity): A single instrument, perhaps comprised of many software, hardware, and traditional instrumental design components. But first and foremost something that I can control in real-time that has an enormous potential for live control and interaction. Over the next day or two, I will better define what intellectual premise the design of the piece will involve, but I am leaning toward the similar interaction that I was interested in with my second proposal, that is, visual information and motion that yields unexpected auditory results. For example, small movements, BIG sounds. Common motion that yields completely unexpected results. Stay tuned... I think I'm finally at peace with where my thesis idea is going!

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