guy cooper

May 2018 Journal Poseidon’s Music Box – Cycles of action

With the bulk of the initial research already done, I have moved onto the actual construction of the sculpture and the part I enjoy the most. I love building and working with my hands, it is calming. The initial design above is guiding me in the overall structure, but as each part is taking shape, I am refining the small technical details regarding the gears and structural joins. The sculpture would be very easy if it was not moving, but the rotation is what will be creating the music score and also bringing life to the piece. The electronics for the solar power are planned to be hidden within the arms and under the main plate and this requires some planning so that the entire structure doesn’t twist itself apart.

Cycle 1 – Visual design aesthetics and fabrication

Act: Design the initial concept drawing.

Observe: Does the visual appearance express the message of the connection of coal and the environmental death of the coral to the audience?

Reflect: The aesthetics of the design are slowly being updated as I go through the process too. While the initial design and coverings with succulent plants will remain, I am thinking of having half of each of the six arms covered in black coal and the other half in the brightly coloured plant life to really contrast the life and death aspects of the sculpture.

The panels around the base of the sculpture were designed to more directly send the message I wanted with the whole piece and therefore I am sticking with the bold and direct quotes, images and as the whole sculpture rotates, these messages will display.

#1 Coral Not Coal

#2 Sustainably co-existing with our planet

#3 #StopAdaniGoldCoast

#4 Please Save Me

#5 $56b economic, social & icon value. $6.4b contributed to Australian Economy annually

#6 One of the 7 natural wonders of the world in our own backyard

largest living organism on the planet

The sculpture is also very visually based and I’m finding that the micro aspect which can be viewed up close and the larger shape of the whole piece should mimic each other. The small geometric designs engraved on the arms will represent the overall larger scale imagery.

Act: Communicating the overall intent of the sculpture through each small piece will ensure the message is clear overall. The shape of the sculpture along with the succulent plant life will represent the coral shape. The bright colors of the plants, the black coal on half of each of the arms and the white bleached frame will follow through with this concept.

The textual messages on the wooden boards at the base of the sculpture will directly express the message to the audience.

Fabrication is currently underway and further observation will occur once this stage is more complete. I’m still working on how I can make the sculpture interactive with the audience, initial ideas are to ask people to take a picture with the sculpture and post it online with their message with the hashtag #coralnotcoal

Cycle 2 – Auditory musical composition, production & publishing

Act: I’m working on the musical melody loop that represents a birth and death cycle, major to minor and fitting this into 32 8th notes. The tube chime mechanics have also been calculated and some have been cut to ensure the tones are loud enough and acoustically pleasing.

 

Cycle 3 – Documentation and exegesis

Act: In answering how I can enact the change I want in my sculpture I have spoken to #stopadanigoldcoast and HOTA (Home of the Arts Gold Coast) about working towards a display or exhibition of the sculpture in August. Tying the sculpture in with the #stopadanigoldcoast movement will help develop an audience and some press for the piece. In addition, I have started to put together a website at  http://guycooper.com.au/poseidon/ to collate all the blogs and images of the work in progress. This site will also be the final digital public delivery of the sculpture, song and videos.

 

 

Advertisements

April 2nd 2018 Sound Sculpture – Poseidon’s Music Box

Construction has begun and figuring out where my focus is.

Throughout the last trimester I have been exploring more theoretical aspects of the sculpture I am creating and thinking more about the ‘purpose’, the why of the physical art and what it can help achieve. The focus was initially based on my own meditative and creative output, exploring the engineering fabrication aspects and design aspects for my own personal education and exploration. Having a creative outlet that was separate from my music and production work to help me relax more. Music hasn’t become a chore, I love it, but my whole life is consumed by musical projects. I think I do a lot of the video, photography and media management work not only to further the music we create, but also to fulfill my desire to explore more art forms.

The construction of sculptures has been exciting, learning how to weld and being able to create what it in my mind without the restraint of not knowing how to physically make it work and put it into action. Through this ‘sculpting career’ move, I have also become more aware of the effect of public art on people and how what I create can affect and inspire the people around me. I saw this in reflection on the ‘Migaloo’s Song’ sculpture last year. I went into it for myself, wanting to build this thing I had an idea for, but I came out at the end with a sea of people I affected with the design and construction of the large-scale machine. The wonderment of the actual object functioning was one thing, but the inspiration that anyone could just buy a welder and make this thing created sense of joy in so many of my friends. Everyone wanted to be a part of it and I had lots of friends wanting to come help make it and the song. A side result apart from the awards and self-fulfillment was the direct inspiration for 4 friends who directly told me that me undertaking the sculpture and achieving it (as well as sharing it online in videos and posts) helped them to overcome the fear of starting a new art form or dream they had always avoided because of insecurity. It also directly affected 2 young Gold Coast school students whom I sponsored with some of the prize money to build their own sculptures for this year’s festival. I didn’t see this effect at the start of the project in Jan 2017, but it’s becoming clearer to me this year. What I could measure though was the effect it also had on the public that saw the sculpture, I wasn’t aware and/or wasn’t concerned with that. Mostly due to the fact that I didn’t even know if I could do it and if I’d be happy with the final result, adding the pressure of making others happy with the result or affecting change would have made it too stressful for me. This year is different though, I have a lot more confidence in the process and now that I have a good model for how the whole situation of designing, building and showcasing public art works, I am keen to create a more defined outcome for the public viewing the piece in addition to my own satisfaction.

So, I want to explore the effect of the audiences sensory and emotional reaction to the sculpture and in turn how public art can help encourage or change or affect the public’s perception on a particular topic. It might not even be a direct actionable response as I had initially suggested a month ago, but may be a change or mindset or a trigger or catalyst for their thinking and this is where I think public art has a purpose.

As I start to propose a question for my final exegesis, I would like to fulfill the following things.

  • Creating a question that I personally don’t know the answer for to ensure I am engaged fully in exploring the topic.
  • Creating an sensory impact in the audience, whether it is emotional, actionable or philosophical, through the visual and sound of the piece.
  • Creating a path for myself to continue exploring and pushing myself in both design and fabrication of the sculpture.
  • Creating a philosophy for my own sculpting career, a 2nd purpose for what I am trying to achieve besides building an awesome thing that interests me.

I will come back to the question, but to start getting the ideas out at this stage perhaps something like,

How can public art create and inspire emotional and change in thinking and philosophical issues?

To help explore the topics above throughout the process of this masters and the sculpture, I am creating an action plan to map out the phases and timeline of both the sculpture design and construction and also the milestones to reflect on the affective qualities and goals of the final piece in relation to an audience. While the Swell Sculpture Festival on the Gold Coast in Sept 2018 creates a deadline and an initial public display and audience, it is not the sole destination, but instead I think that it is an example of public art display.

Action Plan

Here’s how I have practiced in the past (detailed review of how I did Migaloo)

VS

How I am going to go about making this one, what is different. Looking at my practice as if it is brand new.

To do this I need to become more critically aware of decisions on my way and make sure that I document them as much as the actual construction process. I need to be able to look back at where I’ve come through my own research so far with regards to sound sculpture. Some of the cycles reflection will be practical construction, some will be on the research and what I have learned.

What is measurable action research?

  • Find way to measure and get data.
  • Do something, reflect, examine, reflect and re adjust.
  • Look deeper into this with a case study on the methodology.

Here’s how I have practiced on the Migaloo’s Song sculpture.

For my initial sculpture last year, I was much more concerned with the actual construction process and simply achieving it for myself. Part of this selfish focus was to remove any excess stress from the project as I didn’t need to do it all in the first place and I was going through chemo at the time. There was probably part of it where I recognized if I put the focus on self development and fulfillment than I could avoid insecurity and fear of judgement from others in the art and sculpture scene as it was a new art form to me and this fear is usually what stops most creative people from undertaking new works.

The sculpture last year started with a 2 month long design process in Dec 2016-Jan 2017, the whale started out as a geometric pattern of strings and plucking parts to a wave made of strings, then a hammerhead shark with strings long ways and ended up being a humpback whale. All three (and the other side tangent designs) were related to sound and music, it was clear to me from the early stage that I was interested in creating sculptures that combined sound, acoustics and music, though it was another 16 months until I discovered the term ‘Sound Sculpture’. I had also just finished an Physics degree in Astrobiology that saw me fixated on the connection of frequency and vibrational wave theory in the development of life in our universe.

Throughout the ‘Migaloo’s Song’ design and construction I was aware and making decisions on the piece based not only on my own interest, but on how it would look and sound to an audience. I think 20 yrs in the music industry has taught me that there is nothing wrong with making music or art that is self-satisfying, but considering how the audience will react or take in the art is also an important skill to have. I think this is where the sculpture moved from being simply a geometric combination of parts to another living creature that would encourage people to ponder the connection between nature and us as humans though music and sound. The following was my artist statement for ‘Migaloo’s Song’ from Jan 2017 before I had begun construction.

Sound and music follows a harmonic structure like that found in nature. There’s connection to our organic world utilizing acoustics & science, to create harmony with our surroundings. Sound is an auditory perception of the brains response to vibrational patterns observed by our bodies. The combination of art, design and psychoacoustics creates a hidden link that resonates between nature and all life. Humpback whales are described as ‘inveterate composers’ of songs that are ‘strikingly similar’ to human musical traditions, a kinship we share with these mammals and a shared language. – Guy Cooper / Migaloo’s Song

For that sculpture I think there was a decent amount of thought that went into the design and construct of creating some response in the audience, a purpose and connection for the sculpture at the start of the design process. But as the actual construction begun, I focused soley on the fabrication and it wasn’t until it was finished (3 days before swell haha) that I came full circle and started to revisit the extra elements of actionable response in the audience. This was achieved in a small way with the press releases and the song I wrote using the harp and a collection of local artists supporting me on the track.

Press Release Sept 2017 – https://www.dropbox.com/s/um0tc3oxxjtpq59/Guy%20Cooper%20-%20Migaloo%27s%20Song%20Media%20Release.pdf?dl=0

https://open.spotify.com/embed/track/7f862NkJeucPguLSLYj2yF

There was a lot of reflective moments in regards to the construction, visual appearance and sound of the harp. Every 4-7 days when I had created a new aspect or failed to construct what I had in my mind, I sat down and reflected on the sculpture. Sometimes it was a forced moment of reflection as my body wasn’t physically able to move or stand up, somedays spent in chemo my mind was redesigning the construction, welding, joints and parts perhaps as a way of distraction from the depressing scenes and news in the hospitals. These moments of reflection and meditation were private and personal, in my head only, I didn’t document them or talk about them with others. It was enjoyable for me to not have to discuss them with others, part of the project was something I could just do myself without having to check and manage multiple other opinions, suggestions and needs. The downside of this is that I have developed a better method of working through the creation process to achieve an outcome, but I don’t have any way of easily explaining this process to others. This did occur to me in 2017 through the process, but I honestly didn’t care as it was just for me, at the time I needed to focus on myself to get through everything that was happening.

So this year I will be using this masters course to improve on the process and outcome and also to find a better way to document and explain the process to others and myself.

What Have I done so far and what needs to happen?

Design

I have already begun the design and construction process for ‘Poseidon’s Music Box’. The design started with a combination of research into sound sculpture and geometric design, sound and nature based physics. I had initially wanted to created a sculpture of dying bleached coral using organ pipes, a droning graveyard that re-enforced the environmental issue of coal mining and its direct connection to climate change and the death of the Great Barrier Reef. I would consider myself an environmentalist, there are so many issues with the world, capitalism, greed, violence, poverty, evil motives… lets not get into those, I want to focus on something that I can change. While I work with helping the homeless on the Gold Coast, building a $5,000 whale harp from steel is not the most helpful thing for the homeless.

The design for ‘Poseidon’s Music Box’ begun on Pinterest collecting pictures from the internet and also my own photography with visual design elements that embodied the theme of coral, music, sound, mining and climate change. The concept of having coral out of its ocean environment and on the land, took me towards the succulent plant life which I have always thought looks like land coral. I have a large garden where I spend my time relaxing and meditating and the I have always been fascinated by the geometric patterns in plants and particularly succulent plants. I decided I wanted to create a large scale coral piece that mirrored the underwater coral, but was manmade, this would help explain the concept that our natural coral is dying and one day all we may have is manmade coral to remember what the coral used to look like. The concept also brought the coral issue to the people on the land, not everyone gets the opportunity to go to the reef and dive or snorkel to see the beauty and in turn effect of coral bleaching and death from climate change. I think this is the same concept as ‘Migaloo’s Song’, bringing the 1:1 size and majesty of the humpback whale to the land, so standing next to them you can see and feel the awe of the scale.

 

Migaloo's Song Night

I also wanted to include some music, not just sounds, but a music piece into the sculpture. The more I research this I find it is less ‘Sound Sculpture’ and more satisfying my interest in marvelous machines. From music boxes to Da-Vinci, perpetual ball bearing machines and orchestrion’s.

A more recent example would be something like the Wintergatan, which is amazing, but has no context to me, its just a big ass amazing machine that sort of makes music.

With all this in mind, I spent 2 months again drawing and collecting large scale and macro images and building different designs in my head. I decided early on I wanted to use chime or steel tubes to generate the musical elements instead of strings this time in order to create something more permeant and all weather. The designs ended up closer to the final concept of Poseidon’s Music Box below.

PERSPECTIVEfinal CROP More design and reflection needs to happen as the project continues. Practical concerns arise as the construction begins that require the concept design to be altered along the way. I want to try and document this as much as possible. There also needs to be a reflection on the design at each stage for simple aesthetic purposes and as my understanding of what I want to achieve with the final piece become more clear.

Construction

The construction process is fun and unknown, perhaps it is the unknown factor that makes it fun for me. Part of the desire to create sculptures is that I don’t know how to physically do it and I enjoy a challenge. I do a lot of things in my life, I have too many jobs, but I have always enjoyed doing different things, I sleep less than most people and life is too short to sit around and not get off your ass and do what makes you happy. My time with thousands of musicians, artists, 17 years of lecturing and teaching artists, has taught me that most people never overcome the fear of judgment from being creative. Its sad and depressing to see people trapped in their own minds from fears and insecurities. I have always made it my goal to change this people, I do it for my friends and my students. I have found my purpose in a lot of ways is a catalyst. Either through my words or my actions, it’s what my label does and I can see that effect I have on people in every one of my jobs.

The construction for me is a mountain to climb, it started with sculpture in 2017 where I wanted to learn how to work with metal. Wood was easy and I have built more than enough things (studios, decks, furniture) from wood, but metal was always a disaster for me. I wanted to learn how to weld and overcome the barrier to construct bigger things from steel. I have always been fascinated by steel sculptures that mimicked natural animals and life and wanted to learn to weld steel. It was probably my retirement plan to help me transition from running my businesses into stopping work and relaxing, but when it looked life I wasn’t maybe going to make it that far with the cancer and T1 diabetes, I got up and went and bought a welder. Terrible things and bad times have always snapped me into action, you can sit there and let it drag you into depression, or you can snap yourself out of it and take control of your life.

So the process of learning to weld was watching some YouTube videos and making mistakes. It’s more enjoyable for me to learn through the process and ‘Migaloo’s Song’ has all my first welds. I probably should of started with something smaller, but hey, where’s the fun in that!

For Poseidon’s Music Box, I can easily see the improvement in welding, planning and machinery. I have suppliers for steel, baring’s, gears, motors, solar and renewable energy and I have a much better understanding of the engineering requirements and the bending moments and sheer forces of steel and aluminum. I have had some fabrication advice this year from other sculptors I met through the process last year and also tradies at the supply shops. My welds are cleaner, stronger and the process is much quicker now, I’m also not physically disabled this year being off chemo and have my strength back.

I think the design and construction are combined, you can’t just design whatever you want, physical and logistical restraints need to be considered along with the design aesthetics. For me the construction is simply looking at the physical building and engineering process, but I think I will combine the design research and outcome aesthetics into the construction discussion for the months to come.

Reflection on process and research.

What do I want to know next?

Through this masters course, my direction on what I want to explore has changed and I expect it will continue to do, but each time I’m getting closer to a more defined goal. I feel like I’m spiraling, but spiraling inwards towards a central point that has clarity on what I think and feel. A month or two ago I was focused on sound sculpture and then on art activism, both of which describe what I do and what I want, but as I look at focusing my attention to a more measureable goal and exegesis question, I find that both of those aspects can be discussed with more final intent by applying what I do to the topic of how public art can affect people’s emotions and thinking.

I don’t want to go into this too much right now, I think this is going to be my main topic for the weeks to come and I want to dive into the case study on the action research cycles first so that when I explore the topic more deeply I’m coming at it with more framework for the aspects I need to focus on.

Public art (for the weeks to come)

  • Look at my own ethics and morals.
  • Seeing the relationship between my own morals, and my practice and how I present myself.
  • How can public art affect emotions and thinking in the audience?
  • How can I enact actionable changes with public art installations?
    • How can I focus my public art on a local issue? (Coal mining & Adani?)
  • How much impact does Kinetic Sound Sculpture have over static silent sculpture?

Basic Action Plan

Jan 2018

  • Research
    • Masters based research from 2017 into ‘Sound Sculpture’, affect and aesthetics, personal sculpting career aspects, public art.
  • Design & Construction
    • What do I want to design? Reflecting on how my design can inspire others, how can I affect change
    • What can I physically build and how am I going to draw a concept of this thing in my head?
    • Learning how to draw better, taking design cues from nature and science.

Feb

  • Research
    • What is Sound Sculpture?
  • Design & Construction
    • How will the sculpture work mechanically, specifics on the gears, bearings, loading values, sheer forces and bending moments, statics, math and physics.
    • How will the musical element be scored and played?
    • Where can I source all the materials?
    • How can I build it so I don’t need to hire a crane and truck again?

March

  • Research
    • Art activism and how I can enact change with my art
  • Design & Construction
    • Get stuck into the construction, start at the centre and work my way outwards on the sculpture slowly, reassess at each stage and alter design to suit the visual and practical issues.

April

  • Research
    • Public art and how I can enact change in the audience.
    • How do I measure and document the process?
    • What do I need to be doing for my exegesis?
  • Design & Construction
    • Finish basic elements and reassess how the aesthetics of the whole structure are working, what needs to be changed to achieve the effects I want.

May
(I will be on tour in japan for most of May with two different bands, so I will use this month as more research and reflection)

  • Research
    • How can I enact the change I want with my sculpture?
    • What other aspects and methods can I employ to re-enforce the concepts? (recording of the musical piece and produce a song again?)
    • How effective have others been in their public art with effecting change in people?
  • Design & Construction
    • Take lots of pics of sculpture to date so I can reflect while in Japan.

June

  • Research
    • How do I feel about the effect of the sculpture?
    • How do other people see the effect of the sculpture?
  • Design & Construction
    • Using the visuals and concept so far, compose the musical score that re-enforces the topic and end goal.
    • Embed solar panels, motor, battery and lighting into the structure.
    • Finish main structure.

July

  • Research
    • Is my sculpture fitting into the goals I have set out to achieve?
    • Deeper reflection on the overall process and am I starting to answer my exegesis question?
  • Design & Construction
    • Begin work on finishing aspects (painting and plants)

Aug

  • Research
    • Finishing up the exegesis and bringing all the thought processes together.
  • Design & Construction
    • Reflect on the design and make final alterations and submission to MCI.

Sept

  • Research
    • Collecting info and measurable feedback for my own processes.
  • Design & Construction
    • Transport and installation

 

I will start to the use the information above to mold a method around creating a repeatable process that can be modified and therefore create a model that can be measured. I will find this by looking at other models, which is where the next goal of creating a case study for the action research cycles and visual ethnography will help.

Poseidon’s Music Box (Sound Sculpture concept)

https://www.facebook.com/guycoopersculptor/

 

The Project

Continuing from my 2017 sound sculpture Migaloo’s Song (Cooper, G. 2017) I intend to design and build a large-scale sound sculpture music box, with a pre-sequenced progression of chimes that will be entered into the 2018 Swell Sculpture Festival on the Gold Coast. The sculpture will be based on coral formations, creating a large moving kinetic man-made coral piece out of steel, mirrors and succulent plant life called ‘Poseidon’s Music Box’.

I will take design cues from both coral and succulent formations and integrate the music box parts into the design. The whole sculpture will be silver, black and contain some surfaces covered in mirrors and succulent plants, helping to blend the man-made and natural elements in the sculpture. The whole structure will be powered by solar renewable energy to turn the music-box and light the structure at night time.

The piece of music generated from the sculpture will be relaxing in contrast to the social noise and chatter of the approximately 15,000 patrons visiting the Swell Sculpture Festival every day in September.

As I progress with my sculpture work, I am setting myself up with a profile of kinetic sound sculptures and geometric design work based on mathematical and patterns found in nature. My previous work ‘Migaloo’s Song’ was based on the Fibonacci Sequence with a series of circles and the song was composed to mimic and coincide to the humpback whale songs. This coral formation sculpture is based on regular quadrilaterals (squares), the rhombus, dihedral groups and will following the design cues from both coral formations, microbial life and succulent plant life.

(my sculpture concept video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jG60R8_QZY)

My interest in the construction of musical instruments has always been based on the physics of sound and acoustics and my interest in sculpting and ‘Sound Sculpture’ has been developed through my collection of music boxes and Leonardo DaVinci inspired machines over the years. I see the concept of moving towards sculpture and sound sculpture more of an addition from my music career, rather than a new field. I am not overly interested in simply creating sculptures, but more so incorporating music composition, music technology and acoustics into sculpture.

Rather than simply creating sonic environments, my interests are in musical elements and scores to be integrated into the sculptures using my background in acoustics, physics and as a musician, composer and producer.

The connection with natural elements and environmental activism is also important to me, mimicking and taking cues from nature in design and recreating these repeating patterns in my design, while attempting to enact some change and awareness in the audience in relation to the environment.

Overall the sculpture has a few aspects, but the integration of sound sculpture work in the form of a playing musical score, powered by renewable energy approaches the topic from the basis of an environmental statement against coal mining and directly how it is affecting our great barrier reef. Bringing the coral bleaching issue to the audience and making a bold connection between the coal mining in Australia.

The sculpture will be powered by recycled renewable solar energy, showing some solutions available to solve our energy crisis and avoid the reef system being killed by the use of fossil fuels and in turn climate change. In direct response to our government’s statements that renewable energy is noisy and ugly, I will also be showing that a renewable energy device can be aesthetically beautiful, fitting into the landscape down by the beach at Currumbin on the Gold Coast and sound musically pleasing while generating energy. I will also be able to use the power generated to run some LED screens that explain the issues we are facing with mining in this country and what people can do to help push our government towards renewable energy.

What I have recently found through research and exploration of the field of ‘Sound Sculpture’ is the importance of environment and audience in relation to the pieces. This aspect reappears constantly in the discussion of ‘Sound Sculpture’.

Ros Bandt discusses the location and environment of sound sculptures in relation to the audience as one of the important defining factors in his 1991 journal on ‘Public Interactive Sound Sculpture’ (Bandt. Ros, 1991). The concept that the recorded and performance-based music world is often stationary and inanimate, situated in concert halls or in front of a stereo system. He suggests that Sound Sculpture can allow participation from the listener and respects the listener as a creative participant.

The practice of sculpture for myself is based on engineering, mechanics and musical acoustics, although the aesthetic design space is integral to my creations. I have always taken cues from nature and my surroundings and I am fascinated by the geometric designs in nature from the microscopic through to the planetary evolution and forces that shape them. My interest in the biology of life and its combination with physics has been reinforced through my Astrobiology work and I have a drive to recreate this in my sculptures. The fabrication and construction work with my hands also provides a meditative practice for me and allows me to rest mentally.

Creative Merit

Public Art

For art curator Shannon Galpin, the importance of public art, is that it can bring art outside the galleries and place it in our everyday lives (Galpin, S. 2014). Inspiring and invoking change, illuminating activism and the spirt of hope in the public as they engage with it visually set amongst our everyday environment. Public art can surround us and create conversations and controversy, it forces us to have an opinion as we try to understand it’s purpose, starting a two-way conversation. Public art can reach people that may not have previously engaged with art and change their perceptions on certain topics, amplifying the voice of the artist.

The sculpture while fitting into the ‘Sound Sculpture’ field will be a machine that creates wonderment and curiosity in the audience. This in turn helps bring the viewer into understanding the concept behind the art and to draw their own conclusions from the visual and auditory stimulation. The concepts of climate change in relation to mining and the environment are common knowledge and it is my hope that the audience will connect this from their viewing of the piece.

Education

The sculpture and the research attached to the design and implementation will help to contribute to a broader body of knowledge for future sound sculptors and art activists. Through my research and ideation of this project, I will be documenting and providing insight into my processes and perspectives on both the art design aspects and how I intend to integrate the environmental activism outcomes through my art.

The artist Sanaz Mazinani in his ‘Art + Activism’ video (Mazinani, S. 2015) talks about the significance of the artist’s identity and how it becomes as important as the work itself, the understanding of the perspective in which we come from, defines the context of the work and possibly through understanding and education we can better derive a foundation for our own art. Through my work with this piece I hope to provide a case study for others to better work through their own perspectives and how to integrate their intensions into their own art. I would like to ask what is the world like today when you created your art? and how can there be a potential for change through your art?

Activism

The medium of sculpture itself, the physical art space, creates a relationship between the artist’s perspective and intension and the viewer. This physical creation forms spaces for conversation and exchange, a new narrative can be formed that engages the viewer to think about the topic of climate change and how their actions are affecting the living organisms that form the coral reefs.

I will be attempting to use sound sculpture and my creative practice to create a new narrative on the topic of climate change, A new set of questions to ask the audience through my art.

Thelma Golden expresses that art can be used to create a new narrative in her presentation ‘How art gives shape to cultural change’ VIDEO 1:55

“I was interested in why and how I could create a new story, a new narrative in art history and in the world, and to do this I knew that I had to see the way that artists work, understand the artist studio as a laboratory, imagine then reinventing the museum as a think tank and looking at the exhibition as the ultimate white paper, asking questions, providing the space to look and think about answers.” (Golden, T. 2013)

 I intend to engage my role as an artist to be a catalyst for this discussion, my intension is for my role to not simply be a content provider, but as a catalyst for change in thought processes and then in direct action.

Marcus Ellsworth also believes that art has a powerful role to play in creating change and connecting people with a new truth on an existing topic. In his 2014 TEDx talk ‘Art as activism’ (Ellsworth, M. 2014) he explains that art is a bringer of change, it has a way of connecting people, inspiring, motivating and moving people’s opinions. That we can use our art to express our truth and enact some change. I see my sculpture work as a chance to get out and tell my truth, unapologetically and without censoring myself to make the world a better place.

Dr Tammy Brown suggests the role of art in pushing for freedom, using art to educate and uplift in her video presentation ‘Art is a weapon for social change’.

“Art has the power to counteract and transcend racism, sexism, classism or any other ism that comes to mind.” (Brown, T. 2014)

Socially and politically engaged art strives to provide a counterpoint to the prevailing images of power and the stereotypes that are fed to us by the media on topics such as democracy, civil and human rights, capitalism and the environment. I suggest that all art is in sense political, as it is about a person’s views and freedom to act, freedom to express ourselves, art is about taking a position and encouraging others to feel that same emotion.

So how can I make a difference to the environment and climate change with the music in my sculpture? While there have been many commercial attempts to raise awareness and funds for the environment and climate change from famous musical artists using their presence to encourage others to take up arms, I intend to focus on my own local neighborhood. Expecting a reach globally is over-ambitious, so I intend to put my efforts towards enacting change in the audiences that will experience the sculpture first hand at the Swell Sculpture Festival in September 2018 on the Gold Coast, with an expected audience of 200,000 people.

There is a large collective of artists on the Gold Coast and Northern NSW and I intend to use my sculpture work to create a collective network of artists that can help drive a more direct change in our local governments thinking in relation to power consumption and renewable energy.

Relevant Context

Art’s Purpose

As an artist it is Important for me to have a voice, to be able to express myself, most artists I have met are driven to do this, to share their emotions with the world. Oscar Wilde was quoted in saying that “All art is quite useless”, while he was most likely being glib, I believe it is simply finding purpose or understanding in art that defines it’s use. Art allows for something that cannot be defined easily, it is difficult to quantify or qualify how anyone person will see your art or predict the ways in which it will affect people. In contradiction to Oscar Wilde, Friedrich Nietzsche said that “We have art in order not to perish from the truth”, I think that art has the ability to take from the past and present and help define what is now and how the future can be.

In Wilson’s 2016 article on ‘The Purpose of Art’, he quotes British artist Anthony Gormley in relation to art.

“Art is about one person’s expectation of and their use of their own freedom to act.” (Wilson, M. 2016)

Wilson also quotes composer Paul O’Neil in relation to great art and emotional response.

“The purpose of art is to create an emotional response in the person that is exposed to that art. And there are three categories of art; bad art, good art and great art. Bad art will elicit no emotional response in the person that is exposed to it, i.e.; a song you hear in an elevator and it does nothing to you, a picture on a wall that gives you the same emotional response as if the wall had been blank, a movie that chews up time. Good art will make you feel an emotion that you have felt before; you see a picture of a forest and you remember the last time you went fishing with your dad, you hear a song about love and you remember the last time you were in love. Great art will make you feel an emotion you have never felt before; seeing the pieta, the world-famous sculpture by Michelangelo, can cause someone to feel the pain of losing a child even if they’ve never had one.” (Wilson, M. 2016)

Perhaps then the best art should ask you what you think, prompt you to ask questions and put you into doubt. Katerina Gregos (Gregos, K. 2014) suggests that

“Art cracks open cemented opinions and challenges the given. It moves beyond the expected and the known and functions as the conscious of society” it gives voice to the other. “Art highlights important ideas, problems and issues that are sidelined or silenced due to political or economic interests. Art functions as the barometer of society, as a moral or intellectual resistance.”

In her TEDx talk she presents the following ideas,

“Art thinks about the world in its current state and reimagines it as it should be. More importantly, Art is the last frontier of unregulated free expression which is particularly important at a time when the commons public space and information are increasingly being privatized and regulated by the “Neo-liberal” order. In that sense, art is born of and advocates freedom. Artists always see a world full of opportunities, chances, potentials, possibilities and prospects, their ability to go beyond the possible and into the imaginable, should be an example and inspiration for us all.” (Gregos, K. 2014)

Sound Sculpture

In direct relation to my art as ‘Sound Sculpture’, Georgina Born discusses the extension of sound installation art in her book ‘Music, sound and space transformations of public and private experience’.

“The emergence of sound installation art in the second half of the twentieth century reflects fundamental shifts within multiple arenas: conceptions of space and space–time; the ascendancy of site within the aural imagination; the extension of music and sonic arts into expanded sculptural and architectural models; and the role of the public in relation to aesthetic experience.” (Born, G. 2013)

And Niels Van Tomme discusses the added importance of sound art in his article ‘Radical Sound Activism’.

“What is it about sound that is actually able to register a type of critique that may be different from vision, for example? There is a certain kind of intimacy with sound; it moves through time; it does in fact register the evolution and the layering of ideas.” (Van Tomme, N. 2009)

He also goes on to say that,

“It is valuable that people become aware of the emotional relations they have to themselves, to each other and to the conditions they are experiencing. That affective level becomes a form of analysis; it is by registering those things that you are also able to have an additional level of critical reflection.” (Van Tomme, N. 2009)

I would suggest that my work with sound sculpture can also blur the line between activism and art by interrogating the environment and politics that relate to my community. Creating interest through the use of sound and music within my sculpture will bring more interest and create a deeper need for understanding the piece. Making art is bringing something to the world, and sound sculpture is combining music and physical form in the guise of wonderment. 

My own searches for works relating or being called ‘Sound Sculptures’ have found works that can either generate sound and sonic textures including ‘noise’ or un-harmonious sound) such as the ‘Aeolus’ (K. 2011), works that are machines and ‘perform’ structured or pitched musical pieces, such as the Music Box at the Figment interactive sculpture garden in New York (The Music Box. 2018) and also works that simply visually represent sound, such as Penda’s soundwaves in China (Zhi, X. 2015).

Anyone of these three definitions can represent ‘Sound Sculptures’ and it seems that simply including or representing sound in a physical sculpture can define a ‘Sound Sculpture’. My interest is from a musician/composer/producer background and therefore strongly situated in the 2nd definition and creating moving kinetic sculptures that perform a pre-composed piece. I am also interested in having these kinetic sculptures powered by either natural forces or renewable energy.

Licht mentions that David Troop called sound sculpture ‘sound combined with visual art practices’ and that Schulz mentions it is ‘an art form y in which sound has become material within the context of an expanded concept of sculpture y for the most part works that are space-shaping and space-claiming in nature’ (Licht, A, 2009). And that

“Sound art holds the distinction of being an art movement that is not tied to a specific time period, geographic location or group of artists, and was not named until decades after its earliest works were produced. Indeed, the definition of term remains elusive”. (Licht, A, 2009)

Through my work on this project I hope to form a better definition of ‘Sound Sculpture’ in relation to my work and put it into perspective with my professional music career. At this stage my definition of Sound Sculpture is anything physical that generates auditory tones, I disagree that sculptures simply visually representing sound waves are ‘Sound Sculptures’.

Inspirations & References

Kinetic Artists

I am inspired by the new and I tend to be drawn to other sculptors that work the same way instead of simply recreating forms, designs and mediums that have been created before. One of my inspirations for kinetic sculpture work is Anthony Howe. I enjoy the connection between geometric design and nature and attempting to mimic that in my sculpture work. Kinetic and geometric work by artists such as Anthony Howe (Howe, A. 2015). There are many kinetic works online and these form a basis for reference. I hope to create a style and profile for myself as a sculptor with the integration of musical pieces, simple color systems, renewable energy and a connection to the environment and nature.

Sound Sculptors

I like the interactivity and integration of natural elements in Steve Mann’s Hydraulophone. It serves three main roles “as an architectural display fountain, like other large fountains that visually define a landmark, iconic representation, or the like; it provides an aquatic play experience, and it invites people of all ages to “play in the water”; it is a visual art sculpture, a sound sculpture, and a musical instrument, thus bringing art, music, culture, and play into the mix.” (Mann, S. 2006)

Harry Bertoia’s sound-producing visual works are very interesting, although he was not aware of the genre ‘Sound Sculpture’ at the time of his creations. He is quoted in saying the following.

“Man is not important. Humanity is what counts, to which, I feel, I have given my contribution. Humanity shall continue without me, but I am not going away. I am not leaving you. Every time you see some tree tops moving in the wind, you will think of me. Or you will see some beautiful flowers; you will think of me. I have never been a very religious man, not in the formal way, but each time I took a walk in the woods, I felt the presence of a superior force around me.” (Bertoia, H. 1978)

As mentions earlier I like the Cutuchogue sisters Kelly and Ashley Goeller’s Music Box and its interactivity.

“Everyone these days listens to music digitally. It’s very individual,” Ashley said. “We wanted to make it collaborative, so in order to play the song two people have to turn the handles.” (The Music Box. 2018)

Other kinetic pipe organ sculptures I have sourced for inspiration include the ‘Wave Organ’ (Wave Organ, 2016) by Peter Richards and George Gonzalez in San Francisco, which uses the wave and tidal movements to amplify the sound of water and the ocean. The Singing Tree (The Singing, Ringing Tree, 2007) by Tonkin Liu Architects in Burley, UK, a collection of steel pipes that utilise the wind to create sound. The ‘Aeolus’ at the Eden Project’ (Aeolus at the Eden Project, 2011) by Luke Jerram in the UK and the ‘Zadar Sea Organ’ (Zadar Sea Organ, 2015) by Nikola Basic in the town of Zadar in Croatia.

Sound Activist Artists

In relation to sound activist artists, Chisholm talks about composer John Luther Adams’ work with Sila and the effect of sound and music on environmental activism.

“Music is no alternative to environmental activism or climate science or direct exposure to melting ice caps, rising seas, and cataclysmic winds, but it can compose climate-change sensations that directly affect our listening, feeling, and thinking. It can even, I venture, redirect our attention outside ourselves, which is to say outside our ubiquitous, Muzak-saturated commercial environments and our global/local webs of news and social media that tend to be self-enclosing and all-absorbing.” (Chisholm, D. 2016)

While I find this work interesting, my professional work in the arts has cemented the idea of creating musical works that have appeal and interest to non-musical people as well as musicians. Simply creating a cacophony of sound and movement is no doubt art, but the lack of a cohesive format leaves most nonmusical or audio based people uninterested and disconnected.

I will be participating in Concert for the Planet on March 24th with my Migaloo Song sculpture and as part of the HOTA choir. The event will feature a globalized performance by the Gold Coast Philharmonic Orchestra, extended to include over 100 local musicians who will perform Holst’s The Planets under the baton of conductor Lachlan Snow. (https://www.absolutetheatre.com.au/single-post/2018/03/09/Gold-Coast-to-shine-for-Earth-Hour-at-Concert-for-the-Planet) I intend to use this opportunity to attach some video screens to my previous sculpture in order to drive some direct action and change in the audience.

Conclusions

To end I would like to share more from Katerina Gregos’ view on the potential of art from her TEDx talk on ‘Why art is important’. She says in relation to art that

“It’s a subtle power that changes the world one perception at a time.”.

“Art is optimistic because it makes a statement that one person can change the world” and that

“Art as an act of shared communication is in a small way saying: I make the world, I don’t simply inherit it”.

 

References

Bandt, R. (1991). Public interactive sound sculpture. Australian Journal of Music Education, (1), 5.

Bertoia, H. (2016). Bertoia Home. Retrieved March 12, 2018, from http://harrybertoia.org

Gregos, K. (2014, September 02). Why art is important – Katerina Gregos (TEDx). Retrieved March 5, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UPk56BR1Cmk

Born, G. (2013). Music, sound and space transformations of public and private experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Brown, T., Dr. (2014, May 23). Art is a weapon for social change – Dr Tammy Brown (TEDx). Retrieved March 8, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7o6kbRBFLdI&t=717s

Chisholm, D. (2016). Shaping an Ear for Climate Change. Environmental Humanities,8(2), 172-195. doi:10.1215/22011919-3664211

Cooper, G. (2017, September 27). Migaloo’s Song. Retrieved March 11, 2018, from http://guycooper.com.au/migaloo

Ellsworth, M. (2014, November 15). Art as activism – Marcus Ellsworth (TEDx). Retrieved March 6, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KLg8LMK_Ct4&t=4s

Fontana, B. (2008). The relocation of ambient sound: urban sound sculpture. Leonardo41(2), 154-158.

Galpin, S. (2014, February 18). Art as activism – Shannon Galpin (TEDx). Retrieved March 8, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HjpZoYMw_E

Golden, T. (2013, February 24). How art gives shape to cultural change – Thelma Golden (TEDx). Retrieved March 6, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FCihq5n-hE&t=2s

Howe, A. (2015, June 12). Full Compilation of Kinetic Masterpieces by Anthony Howe. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J4l5rHNSq9s&t=918s%29

(2011, September 22). Aeolus at the Eden Project. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=__YdjypIZ_o

Licht, A. (2009). Sound Art: Origins, development and ambiguities. Organised Sound14(1), 3-10.

(2015, March 10). Zader Sea Organ. Retrieved December 13, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n86pF-wQKrw

Mann, S. (2006, December 07). The Urban Beach Meets Steve Mann’s Hydraulophone. Retrieved March 2, 2018, from http://readingcities.com/index.php/toronto/C88/P4/

Mazinani, S. (2015, June 30). Art + Activism – Sanaz Mazinani. Retrieved March 6, 2018, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FTp_nLgcPyU

Music Box. (2018, February 18). Retrieved March 1, 2018, from https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/314689092706602359/

(2007, January 07). The Singing, Ringing Tree. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4B0hGyKV9qs&t=51s

Wilson, M. (2016). The Purpose Of Art. Retrieved March 5, 2018, from https://mildredwilson.art/blog/100310/the-purpose-of-art

Wave Organ (2016, April 24). Wave Organ. Retrieved December 12, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uMRomj4VjI%29

Van Tomme, N. March 11, 2009. (2013, May 17). Radical Sound Activism – FPIF. Retrieved March 8, 2018, from http://fpif.org/radical_sound_activism/

Zhi, X. (2015, March 31). Pendas soundwave pierces the myrtle tree garden. Retrieved February 22, 2018, from https://www.designboom.com/art/penda-soundwave-500-fins-myrtle-tree-garden-xiangyang-china-03-30-2015/

Migaloo’s Song sculpture heading to Concert for the Planet on March 24th

Migaloo’s Song will be lifting off again and heading to Home of the Arts for the Concert for the Planet on March 24th to help celebrate Earth Hour.
He will be singing his song and our HOTA Choir will also be performing on the day. Guy Cooper Sculptor

https://www.facebook.com/events/182512795686997/

Being Jane Lane / Unwritten Law / Big Gay Day / SoCo OWeek / Straightline upcoming shows & supports

27336697_1973443936016591_3634919138148936091_n.png

Being Jane Lane has a string of upcoming shows including securing the support slot for US punk band UNWRITTEN LAW at The Zoo in Brisbane on Feb 25th. The band has been busy in the studio working on their new album and follow up to the ‘SAILBOAT’ single with Guy Cooper from Human Records and Serotonin Productions.

27654709_1978641188830199_9159599493369035511_n

Their hard work and infectiously high energy stage shows were rewarded last year, with the band winning the coveted PEOPLES CHOICE AWARD at the Gold Coast Music Awards and have also been added to the lineup for the 2018 Big Gay Day on March 11th. You can also catch the ladies tonight at Soco Oweek at the Parkwood Tavern on the Gold Coast with The Lonesomes and Cakes and also supporting German skate/thrash punkers Straightline and Melbournes Blind Man Death Stare on March 10th at the Bloodhound Bar in Brisbane.
Please get online and head to www.beingjanelane.com to check out the bands 2016 EP, the Sailboat single, upcoming shows and sign up to get the latest news and a free song download.

27973321_1994189717275346_8952486846716475074_n

 

 

 

LANE-HARRY x IKE CAMPBELL THE DASH single hits 130,000k & 360 tour supports + Surfers Paradise LIVE shows

The Dash ARTWORK FINAL 2000

The latest single THE DASH from Lane-Harry x Ike Campbell is killing it on Spotify and with Triple J. Racking up over 35,000 listeners a month and just hit 130,000 plays on Spotify. The Gold Coast duo are also all set to support 360 on his ‘Vintage Modern’ tour next week for the Brisbane shows on March 3rd and 4th. 360 recently named them the artists to watch in 2018 (https://otchiphop.com/2018/02/06/whos-next-360/amp/).

Fresh from taking out album of the year at the Gold Coast music awards in 2017 for YOUTH, having poured countless hours into the writing and production of the album, the duo and label decided to make YOUTH a free album for all their fans that have helped bring them to where they are today, which you can check out at www.lanexike.com.

360 Vintage Modern Tour

The boys are busy in the studio again working on a follow up to THE DASH and planning some upcoming live shows, including a free concert alongside Daryl Braithwaite, Jon Stevens and Kate Ceberano as part of the Surfers Paradise LIVE festival on the Gold Coast in May. 2018 is set to be a huge year for the duo and their indie label Human Records with some big announcements coming soon as they work on the new album CASABLANCA. Touring continues following shows supporting 360, Allday, Seth Sentry, Ivan Ooze, Tkay Maidza, David Dallas, Remi, USA hiphop lords Tech N9ne and Brother Ali.

SURFERS LIVE

Lane has also been busy working on his Saint Lane solo project down in Sydney with Dan from the Griswalds and Duestch Duke. The video for THE DASH is worth a watch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLV7tYXTdXY) filmed and directed by Swedish filmmaker Nils Nilsson (Pirates of the Caribbean, San Andreas) and Lane & Ike sparring off in Kung-Fu style battle.

The ethereal soundscape of Lane-Harry x Ike Campbell is not to be missed, an act that will go down as one of the defining sounds at the forefront of the golden era of hiphop music in Australia. The two charismatic young men plan on breaking past all creative ceilings and influence the artists of the future. Not only are they delivering gorgeous sounds and visuals but their mesmerizing fashion, emerging celebrity status & wild personalities are making them true game changers.

Generation Y has a new face and that face is that of Lane-Harry x Ike Campbell. Be sure to check out the new single at http://www.lanexike.com

Can’t Stop Me It’s Christmas! – Charlie Rebel release new xmas song to brighten your holiday cheer

It’s that time of year again and Charlie Rebel is here to help celebrate with a Christmas song, You can’t stop me it’s Christmas!

www.charlierebel.com

This Christmas time there are still lots of Gold Coast families and children struggling this time of year. You can help by donating to Paradise Kids at paradisekids.org.au or Angels for the forgottenwww.angelsfortheforgotten.org

Spend a little of your Christmas cheer to help those in need.

www.serotoninproductions.com
www.humanrecords.com.au

AUD451.2 – Technical Analysis Report Guy Cooper – Pearl Jam / Do the Evolution

Pearl Jam – Do the Evolution

3 minutes 54 seconds
140 BPM – 4/4 – D minor

The track I have chosen to analyse is ‘Do The Evolution’ by Pearl Jam (Vedder, E. Gossard, S. 1998, Track 7). ‘Do The Evolution’ was recorded in 1997 and was produced by Brendan O’Brien. It was recorded at Studio X in Seattle and Studio Litho in Washington. and then released on Feb 3rd 1998 by Sony Entertainment Inc on the album ‘Yield’ (Pearl Jam. 2001).

The song is 3 minutes and 54 seconds long and is around 140 bpm, the song fluctuates between 139 and 142 bpm and was therefore not recorded to a click track. The tempo was calculated using a tempo tap app on my phone called ‘Metronome’. The song is in D minor with the guitars and bass in standard E tuning, this was identified by analysing the bass melody and finding that it fits the D minor scale using the circle of 5ths. The song’s lyrics were written by Eddie Vedder, with the music written by Stone Gossard. (Pearl Jam – Do the Evolution Lyrics. 1999).

The members of the band are

Eddie Vedder – Vocals
Stone Gossard – Guitar
Mike McCready – Lead Guitar
Jeff Ament – Bass (although Jess Ament didn’t play bass on this song, Stone Gossard played the bass line)
Jack Irons – Drums
(Pearl Jam. 2001).

I chose this track due to the blend and panning of the 4-main distorted guitar and bass parts and the energy matched in the vocal performance. The song has a grunge rock sound with the mid-distorted guitars and heavy drum distortion, though the cymbals are not distorted. The vocals also have a heavy distorted sound, similar to a megaphone. The two guitarists work as one with a dry, raw, rhythm base and the 2nd doing lead lines with reverb and delay. The lyrics deal with the basic topic of the evolution of man and moving forward. Upon further research, I discovered that the song is based on the book ‘Ismael’ (Pearl Jam – Do the Evolution Lyrics. 1999).

The instruments used in the composition are as follows and are shown section by section in the following ‘Song Structure Map (Appendix 1)’.

Intro
Rhythm Guitar (strato-caster)
Vocal Yell

Verse
Kick, Snare, Hats, Crashx2
Bass (distorted)
Rhythm Guitar
Lead Guitar
Lead Vocal

Pre-chorus
Kick, Snare, Hats, Crash x1, Ride
Lead Guitar (Clean with delay)
Rhythm Guitar

Chorus
Kick, Snare, Hats, Crash x1, Ride
Distorted Bass
Lead Guitar (Clean with delay)
Rhythm Guitar
Lead Vocal

Chorus Riff
Kick, Snare, Hats, Crash x1, Ride
Distorted Bass
Lead Guitar (Clean with delay)
Rhythm Guitar
Lead Vocal

Bridge A/B
Kick, Snare, Hats, Ride
Clean Guitar
Distorted Bass
6 Part Gospel Choir

Solo/Bridge
Kick, Snare, Hats, Crash x1, Ride
Distorted Bass
Lead Guitar (Distorted with delay)
Rhythm Guitar
Lead Vocal Yells

Song Structure Map (Appendix 1)

The song structure map shows the progression of the different sections of the song along with the respective measures and time markers of each section. There are two interweaving rhythm guitar parts, one distorted and panned to the left and the other with less gain and panned to the right. The drums, bass and vocals carry through most of the track except for the intro, pre-chorus and bridge. The song also ends with a burning sample to mimic the end tail of an explosion.

Pearljam evo 

Spatial Map (Appendix 2)

The section I have chosen for the Spatial Map is the verse, which shows the mono drums, bass and vocal and the panning of the distorted rhythm to the left and the cleaner rhythm to the right. The track is very separated in the panning. There is some very slight reverb from the drums just outside the mono field, but it is still a mono reverb applied. This separation was analyzed with the use of a mid/side filter (Moylan, W. 2014).

Spatial Map 

Multilayer Stereo Localisation and Distance Location Map (Appendix 3)

The multilayer stereo localization and distance location map below shows the stereo panning and separation as the track progresses. Again the mid/side filter was used to identify the location of each instrument throughout the track (Moylan, W. 2014). The graph also shows the distance location of each instrument in relation to each other.

Multilayer Stereo Localisation and Distance Location Map 

Loudness Map (Appendix 4)

The loudness map below shows the dynamics throughout the song from the vinyl version of the song. The sections are listed along the x-axis and the loudness on the y-axis. The map shows the increase in loudness and intensity as the track progresses.

Loudness Map

The song starts with a single rhythm guitar playing the main riff with a high pass filter removing all the low end at around 500hz, this HPF switches off after 4 bars and gives the introduction of the drums and 2nd rhythm guitar more impact. The intro guitar is panned hard left and a 2nd rhythm guitar comes in after 4 bars and is panned hard right in contrast. Both rhythm guitars are dry in relation to time-based effects but have had light compression applied. The saturation from the tube distortion has reduced the dynamics of the left rhythm guitar, but this is less noticeable with the right panned rhythm guitar with less gain. This offset stereo rhythm guitar blend is similar to that used by Led Zeppelin in the track ‘Immigrant Song’ (Led Zeppelin. 1970. Track 1)

The song transitions from the intro into the 1st verse with a big screaming vocal yell “Woooooo”. The vocals are distorted with a tube type distortion applied in the mix, I can hear the dry vocal along with another distorted copy in the mix and both are set in the mono-field. The vocal has some light reverb on it with a very short decay of around 200ms (Rindel, J.H. 1995). The compression on the vocal is heavy, set around 4:1 or higher with a short attack and release. The crushed vocal sound is partly from the tube distortion and also by the brick-wall limiter that follows the compression. This was identified as part of the mix and not the master limiter through the comparative analysis of the vinyl version and CD version of the recording (Vedder, E. Gossard, S. 1998. CD/VINYL). The vinyl master has more dynamics in the mix (as shown in the loudness map appendix 4) sitting at around -13 LUFS, compared to the 1998 digital CD version with -9 LUFS and the remastered 2005 version that is on the streaming sites sitting around -7 LUFS. Through analysing the 3 different versions and particularly the vinyl version, you can see and hear that the master mix is not brick-wall limited, though the vocals still sound heavily crushed in all three versions, suggesting that it was done in the mix prior to mastering. The same is true for the drums, bass and guitar parts. The vocal is also sitting up front in the mix as seen in the spatial map appendix 2 and distance location map appendix 3.

The verse has a blend of a heavily distorted rhythm guitar panned to the left and a cleaner rhythm guitar panned to the right to allow more space for the drums, bass and vocals in the centre of the mix.

The song changes into the chorus through a pre-chorus and this only happens once in the song as seen in the song structure map appendix 1, the song’s structure only has 2 verses at the start with the chorus’s being broken up later in the track with bridges and a solo. The pre-chorus introduces a new guitar tone with a single low level distorted lead guitar panned hard left, this lead guitar part has some reverb similar in decay to the main vocal and again has some light compression on it, but is much more dynamic than the verse rhythm guitar. This guitar part is set against the same drum sound as the verse and this section also introduces a clean guitar chord strum on the right with a light chorus effect and again reverb.

The chorus returns with the wide panned guitars and the bass, kick, snare and hats in the centre of the mix with the vocals. The lead guitar riff comes in during the 2nd half of the chorus panned in the centre and takes over in the mix from the vocals helping to keep the energy of the track building. The overall loudness increases through the chorus and again in the solo and chorus riff sections that follow as seen in the loudness map appendix 4. The track is constantly building and lead mostly by the lead distorted guitar riff. The drums and bass are mixed relatively low in the mix and provide a very solid base for the rest of the instruments. The song has no toms in the fills and accents are done with the use of snare rolls and fills. This high energy grunge rock track does not follow a standard structure of any type, but increases in tempo, volume and intensity as it progresses.

The bridge consists of a prominent vocal gospel choir singing O’s and follows the lyric “There’s my church, I sing in the choir” (Pearl Jam. 2001). It also has a simple kick, snare, hats beat that is set closer than the choir vocals. The gospel choir parts consist of 3 layer voices with heavy reverb and some light delay set around 250ms, they have a light compression and are set behind the drums, which appear closer and drier in comparison. The main vocal is also below the choir in a very light tone and not distorted like the rest of the track.

The bass and guitar build back into the main chorus section along with the main vocal, but this time with much louder vocals than the 1st chorus, which gives the track a building and ever-increasing volume and energy level throughout. The solo/bridge has a heavily distorted and delayed guitar solo, the solo guitar returns in a similar tone to that used in the pre-chorus section, it has heavy compression and limiting with some light reverb and longer delay around 250ms. It also contains some vocal yells and accents. The last chorus riff section has very distorted vocals that blow out and lose control to give a very frantic and high energy tone. The song ends with another 10 bar chorus riff section than slowly fades out.

The drums throughout the track are set in the mono-field as seen in the multilayer stereo localisation map appendix 3. The heavy use of open hats and a simple backbeat kick and snare rhythm on the drums help drive the song. The drums are set further back into the mix than the guitars, allowing the guitars to lead and stand out. The mono panning of the drum kit also gives more space to the guitars in the track. The drums are a blend of close microphones and a mono room, the entire drum bus is compressed heavily with a short attack and long release, which helps contain the drums below the guitars and vocals. Both the snare and kick also have heavy compression and a light amount of reverb is on the snare. The compression and possibly limiting on the snare track helps bring out the hi-hats more and they are phasing slightly with the room mics. The use of the mono drum sound is similar as that used in David Bowie’s ‘Heroes’ (Bowie, D. 1977. Track 3), it gives more attention and space for the stereo guitars in the mix.

The bass guitar is also distorted lightly with a Pii Big Muff distortion pedal (Pearl Jam. 2001). It is sitting behind the drums and guitars as the lowest instrument in the mix, providing a solid backing for the other parts. It has heavy compression of 4:1 or higher and remains further away than all the other instruments as seen in the distance location map appendix 3. The bass is also mono along with the vocals, both of which are only in the centre of the mix. The drums are mono, although the light reverb brings the snare and hats slightly into the stereo field, wider than the bass and vocals.

To more effectively analyse the frequency spectrum for each instrument, I utilised a combination of low and high pass filters, a real-time spectrum analyser and my ears as seen below in the screenshot (appendix 5). This separation method is effective when used in conjunction with the mid/side filter to identify different instruments and their frequency spectrum within a full mix (Everest, F. A., & Pohlmann, K. C. 2015).

Screenshot Example of Analysis Method (Appendix 5)

The vocal’s frequency spectrum is active between 250Hz and 16KHz with the entire mix is filtered off between 30Hz and 16KHz. The vocals are strongest around 2KHz with extra energy at this frequency, though they are fairly even due to the heavy compression and cover the majority of the full song’s spectrum. The gospel choir vocals in the bridge are strongest around 4KHz, with their low end filtered out around 300Hz.

The distorted rhythm guitars are high pass filtered around 200Hz to remove the low-frequency rumble and are strongest between 2KHz and 4KHz, dipping in energy around 8KHz. The clean rhythm guitars are similar, but with extra energy around 4KHz. The lead solo guitar is more even across the spectrum, covering from 100Hz up to 16KHz. The delay on both the solo guitar and choir vocals in the bridge appear to have a high pass filter around 800Hz. The bass has most of its energy in the mids and low mid frequencies, from 30Hz up to 800Hz. It is stronger around 500Hz and dips around 200Hz, with some low-end energy around 80Hz down to 30Hz, which appears to have been rolled off in the mastering.

The drums cover the songs full spectrum from 30Hz up to 16KHz. The kick drum is similar to the bass guitar, from 30Hz up to 800Hz, lacking in high-end frequencies. The snare also has its high end rolled off in frequency around 6Khz similar to the guitars. The cymbals have most of their energy in the high frequencies around 4KHz to 16KHz, the cymbals and the vocals are the only instruments in the 9KHz to 16KHz area. The cymbals also appear to be filtered off in the low end around 400Hz.

Overall the frequency spectrum has a mid and high-frequency bias for the song. The low end around 100Hz to 200Hz is mostly covered by the kick, bass guitar and vocals. The area around 2KHz to 4KHz is strongest consisting of the rhythm guitars, snare, cymbals and vocals.

 

References

Vedder, E. Gossard, S. (1998). Do The Evolution [Recorded by Pearl Jam]. On Yield [CD]. Seattle/Washington: Sony Music Entertainment Inc. (1997).

Vedder, E. Gossard, S. (1998). Do The Evolution [Recorded by Pearl Jam]. On Yield [VINYL]. Seattle/Washington: Sony Music Entertainment Inc. (1997).

Pearl Jam. (2001). Retrieved December 8, 2017, from http://pearljam.com/music/lyrics/all/all/20844/do_the_evolution

Pearl Jam – Do the Evolution Lyrics. (1999). Retrieved December 10, 2017, from http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/43315/

Moylan, W. (2014). Understanding and crafting the mix: The art of recording (3rd Ed.). Focal Press.

Led Zeppelin. (1970). Immigrant Song [Recorded by Led Zeppelin]. On Led Zeppelin III [CD]. Atlantic Recording Corporation.

Everest, F. A., & Pohlmann, K. C. (2015). The master handbook of acoustics. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Rindel, J.H. (1995) “Diffusion of Sound in Rooms – An Overview.” 15th ICA, Proceedings vol. 2. Trondheim, 1995.

Bowie, D. (1977). Heroes. On Heroes [CD]. Parlophone Records Ltd.

New Charlie Rebel JAPAN film-clip STARE AT THE SUN

The new film-clip for the Charlie Rebel STARE AT THE SUN single is out now. Compiled with footage from the Japan tour we had a few months ago, along with the full ep at www.charlierebel.com. We had a wild time and will be heading back to Japan in May 2018 with a new album.
Human Records.

Media Ecology: Is Technology Moral?

Neil Postman asks in his 1993 book ‘Technopoly: the surrender of culture to technology’ (Postman, 1993), is technology moral? As technology changes, the culture surrounding it and the way in which people use technology to communicate also changes. We are driven to participate in media through society, our western culture dictates that in order to stay connected with those around us, we must use the new technologies. The media environment that we exist in today defines the range of responses and actions that we take, the way we communicate with others and puts restrictions on the full human experience that we would have had prior to the digital revolution. Lance Strate suggests the following,

“As environments, media do not determine our actions, but they define the range of possible actions we can take, and facilitate certain actions while discouraging others.” (Strate, 2008)

His paper on ‘Studying media as media’ (Strate, 2008) delves into the study of media ecology focusing on Marshall McLuhan’s work in the book ‘The Medium is the Massage’ (McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q., & Agel, J, 1967). Media ecology is the study of media as media and McLuhan, Strate and Postman all point at the situation that as media and technology change, it is important that we are aware of how the medium (the technology) is altering the way in which we send and perceive the message it contains.

Technology is embedded in everyday life for most of us, access to the internet with customized information is available in our pockets and all around us. It would seem that the advancement of new technologies in entertainment, communication and connectivity is continually pushed forward for the sake of consumerism and financial gain without any thought into the social and human ways in which we have learnt to interact prior. Technology can shape the way we interact in a positive way by bringing people together geographically, giving rise to independently sharing ideas, events and concerns that would have previously been suppressed by old media and government control. This is seen directly for most people in the use of social media sites.

(https://fredcavazza.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/panorama-ms-20171.jpeg)

But in contrast, this new media environment is also growing unchecked and the overload of information, content created by all users in a convergence culture (Jenkins, 2008) is what Postman is suggesting could create a disconnection between using the technology and being used by the technology. Is technology being moral in developing ways and mediums of communicating media faster than we can make sense of the ethically right way of adapting to it?

“Whatever the consequences of the messages we send, it is the media we use that play the leading role in human affairs; it is our technologies that shape us individually and collectively. It may be true that a good part of what we call reality is a social construction, but the construction we end up with is not necessarily one that we intended to build.” (Strate, 2008)

In my lifetime since 1980, I have seen the rise of the personal computer and the connection of this to the network we call the internet. It has drastically changed and shaped the way we find and collate information, while much more is available with ease from my home, I have found less of a need to transcribe and collect my own thoughts on topics, rather relying on searching for others thoughts and research. In hindsight, it is clear to see where the moral and ethical consequences of the impact of media and technology on society have made mistakes and could be improved. The adaptation of new media and technology always seems to come first without the thought of its effects.

Neil Postman’s views on the effects of technology on culture (Postman, 1993) are drawn from a standpoint of creating the discussion around the topic. This awareness of the cultural impacts that technology has on us is perhaps the main trigger that is needed in order to make an ethical judgement on our use and interaction with new media. I don’t consider Postman’s views to be extreme, but rather an introduction to thinking before we leap into changing the way we communicate with each other. At the time it was introduced in the mid-early nineties, we were beginning to see the rise of the new internet SLIP/PPP protocols (PPP and SLIP protocols, 2017) that constantly connects our digital devices to a network that today spans the globe. Postman’s metaphor at the time was relevant to the change from written and oral communication to print and TV, but its even more important in today’s culture as digital mediums slowly reform all forms of print, written, oral and video media. In this video, he discusses his book and defines what he refers to as technology.

(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbAPtGYiRvg)

Strate suggested that McLuhan’s goals were to communicate that we should take care in paying attention to the medium, as it can direct the ways in which we live our lives.

“McLuhan’s goal was the liberation of the human mind and spirit from its subjugation to symbol systems, media, and technologies. This can only begin with a call to pay attention to the medium, because it is the medium that has the greatest impact on human affairs, not the specific messages we send or receive. It is the symbolic form that is most significant, not the content. It is the technology that matters the most, its nature and its structure, and not our intentions. It is the materials that we work with, and the methods we use to work with them, that have the most to do with the final outcome of our labors.” (Strate, 2008)

The discussion and study of media as media, media ecology is an important step to deciphering the paths and methods of adapting to the new media technologies. While not all new technologies are considered useful to our lives, change in technologies and the ways in which they integrate into our lives are inevitable. It is perhaps only after using and then considering what we have lost with new technologies, that it can become apparent the precautions that should have been taken. Each user has a choice to some extent to involve or not involve themselves in the changing media landscape, but failure to do so can result in being uninformed to the current situations and events. As new media technologies arise, it is important for users to change their habits and become more aware of how they themselves fit into the media environment and this awareness can help lead us to a more balanced media ecology.

 

References.

Postman, N. (1993). Technopoly: the surrender of culture to technology. New York: Vintage Books.

Lance Strate (2008), Studying Media AS Media: McLuhan and the Media Ecology Approach, MediaTropes eJournal Vol I (2008): 127–142

McLuhan, M., Fiore, Q., & Agel, J. (1967). The medium is the massage: an inventory of effects. Harmondsworth: Penguin Books.

Jenkins, H. (2008). Convergence culture: where old and new media collide. New York: New York University Press.

PPP and SLIP protocols. (n.d.). Retrieved November 27, 2017, from http://ccm.net/contents/282-ppp-and-slip-protocols

B. (2009, October 19). Retrieved November 28, 2017, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbAPtGYiRvg

 

Creative Statement – Guy Cooper

Media Ecology share