So Much Sound Stuff

I was so excited by the topic of my last post that I didn’t want to crowd it with anything else, but I have a plethora of other sound-related goodies to talk about.

It’s nice to hear that the concept of soundscape is becoming more prevalent in discussions of/exhibitions about design, such as the Be Open Sound Portal (and the discussion panel that accompanied it) – part of this September’s London Design Festival.  At the same time a black cab was converted into the London Sound Taxi, and toured around the city amusing and bemusing everyone.  It transformed environmental noise into music in real time, an idea that correlates with Lisa Lavia’s presentation about Sounding Brighton that I mentioned in a previous post.

There is now a Spotify app called Tunaspot that allows users to tag playlists at a specific location so that other users can stumble upon them.  And a sound artist in Cambridge, Massachusetts has built an app called Round that allows people to experience the city’s public art collection by way of audio recordings.  These are snippets from other users about the art (or anything really) which pop up at different locations.

This is my favourite thing to do at the moment – try it, like the Tonepad app for iPhone but much, much better, the musical elements are moving, migrating life forms!  A collaboration between developer Fernando Ramallo and composer David Kanaga has produced a similar kind of musical game called Panoramical, this time using a landscape as the basis of the design.  Not to be outdone, Brian Eno’s latest album and app Scape is an exploration of generative musical composition, in which the musical elements change each time they are played.  Shame it’s only for iPad.

As part of BBC’s The Space, the Philharmonia has recorded Holst’s The Planets on 37 different cameras, and visitors to the exhibition at the Science museum can listen to each ‘planet’ while focusing on whatever part of the orchestra they choose.  The Space has a range of other interesting sound stuff as well.

Researchers at Plymouth University have just been granted funding to develop a computer programme capable of reading a human subject’s mood and then composing music to suit, possibly having applications for use in therapy.  And finally, an artist called Dennis Paul has designed an Instrument for the Sonification of Everyday Things, which converts the profile of any object into a sound wave.  Kind of like a contemporary version of Daphne Oram’s Oramics machine, currently on display at the Science museum.


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