Member 63
25 entries

Contributor to project:
Design Media Arts at UCLA
Kelly Chen (F, 35)
Los Angeles, US
Immortal since Mar 29, 2007
Uplinks: 0, Generation 1

Loud Mouth | Kelly Chen
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    From kbug
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    Animated Sequences
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    The Animatrix -...
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    Entertainment | Gaming
    kbug’s project
    Design Media Arts at UCLA
    In the 1970s space colonies were considered to be a viable alternative to a life restricted to planet Earth. The design of cylindrical space...
    Now playing SpaceCollective
    Where forward thinking terrestrials share ideas and information about the state of the species, their planet and the universe, living the lives of science fiction. Introduction
    Featuring Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames, based on an idea by Kees Boeke.
    I'm now collaborating with Peter and Muskan in designing sounds for the project OPEN.

    The goal is to have a single sound piece comprised of 4 or 5 individual arrangements transitioning into each other, with each being associated with a different event/mood one can experience while navigating around within the OPEN healing spa.


    Notes Based off the revision made on 05.30. Now extended to roughly 2:48" in duration, comprised of six smaller sound/song pieces transitioning from one to another. The title comes from the color association of each mini-song: red > green > indigo > violet > blue > orange/yellow. I will elaborate more on this soon.

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    Notes This is the raw piece for now, sketched out in Logic Express. I will be fine-tuning it in Logic Pro and mixing it down from there. I feel the second half becomes a little complicated due to there being too many layers of sound occurring all at once; I think I will draw that portion out so as to retain the minimalism of the beginning.

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    The following is a rough sketch of a track I did for the event "sunrise," as in witnessing a sunrise coming from the Earth's horizon. I may need to extend or shorten this as we progress with the idea, but for now here is the raw:

    (You may want to listen to this through good speakers or a pair of headphones, as the frequencies are in the low range and are difficult to hear through — at least for me — typical pc or laptop speakers)

    More tracks to be added later this week.
    Wed, May 23, 2007  Permanent link
    Categories: sound, work in progress
    Sent to project: Design Media Arts at UCLA
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    Activities and and all other things in life fall into repeating cycles. We are governed by external rhythms in nature, such as the rise and setting of the sun, giving us our sense of time as well as influencing our behaviors during the transition from day into night (think of our "biological clocks".) Sound in nature, too, follows a pattern based on time, in which we start hearing the chirping of birds from outside our windows at a certain hour, or the increasing chaos of traffic on busy street intersections towards midday — but these natural occurrences are all things we generally ignore with our ears.

    "Wherever we are, what we hear is mostly noise. When we ignore it, it disturbs us. When we listen to it, we find it fascinating." - John Cage, 1937

    As written by Bill Fontana in his essay, "Sound As Virtual Image":

    "As a visually oriented culture our essential responses to the everyday world are semantic. Everyday sounds are regarded as not having semantic significance (noise). Noise pollution (with the exception of sounds that are dangerously loud (close proximity to a jet aircraft or heavy machinery) can be explained as a semantic problem. Because sounds must be semanticized in order to be meaningful, our main aural concerns as a culture have been language and music.

    [...]The world of everyday sound is full of semantic ambiguity. Most people approach this experience without recognizing patterns in everyday sound. Noise is the resulting interpretation given to the normal experience of unsemanticized sounds. The semantic ambiguity of sound will change when society develops a capacity to perceive patterns or qualities that are recognizable as part of a context of meaning, such as the sound vocabularies of contemporary music and acoustic art.

    The problem of noise has developed historically from an accumulation of bad designs caused by a lack of thinking about the acoustical by products of everything that happens in the human environment. Noise pollution is a circular problem: people don't pay attention to the sounds they hear and live with everyday and therefore it is not a part of the design of anything to consider the acoustical consequences. This problem is a self-perpetuating cultural blind(deaf) spot on the collective consciousness."

    And so, to bring meaning to the environment, we first have to implement an auditory language that the public will willingly listen to and understand. If music and speech are considered meaningful and are heard consciously, then that is the area I will be dealing with.

    Since life follows a cycle, it is only proper that the designed sound created is also perceived as a kind of loop. Natural sounds are not infinite loops — they have beginnings and endings, for they are triggered by physical events, and will end once the events have passed by. The same will apply once we move to space (it's assumed that we will have plentiful amounts of oxygen within the colonies for sound to actually pass through); but one thing to keep in mind is the fact that our freedom in space will be much more restricted. Unlike Earth where one can simply relocate elsewhere to get away from the noise, restricted spaces in the colonies put many at unease because of the potential claustrophobia. Therefore, "looping" sound serves to work as a meditative device to help bring peace of mind. It has been used at various sound healing centers to put people back in harmony with their bodies, and is also a preferred technique employed by many sound artists and musicians in their respective work to create the sensation of immersion.


    NOT something that endlessly drones on (because that will also make the listener go mad), but rather, repeated soft rhythms and melodies. The following samples are electronic, ambient, and minimalist music that utilize looped rhythms changing subtly over time. They give off the impression of boundless depth, life, and movement. I will strive to revise my pieces to resonate in the same vein as them:

    Kid 606 - "Sometimes"

    Ezekiel Honig - "A Lake of Suggestions Part 1"

    Morgan Packard - "White On White"

    Radiohead - "Treefingers"

    Cornelius - "Wataridori" (this one falls under the lines of more traditional songwriting structure — beginning, climax, ending — but the repeated rhythms and dynamic buildup/collapses draw the listener into its animated, soaring atmosphere)


    "Space colonization is, at its core, a real estate business. The value of real estate is determined by many things, including 'the view.' " - excerpt from Orbital Space Colonies by Al Globus

    We've discussed it in class — the fact that the migration to space colonies will most likely first serve as a tourist attraction. Speculation from other online sources point to the first orbiting colonies as being hotels.

    As such, one of the major attractions to visiting and living in space will definitely be the great view. Imagine this image of Earth as one of many views a person can see from the walls/windows of the orbiting colonies. But over time, when residency in space opens the opportunity to become a permanent installment, as mentioned before there's going to be that issue of space restriction — of being held in captivity. What significance this view once had will now only remind people where the boundaries of freedom end.

    It's the same situation one encounters as when standing at the edge of a shore staring out into the ocean. We cannot cross it by our own means, so we're desperately stuck to the land; but the natural, looping, rhythmic sounds of the crashing waves work to soothe and clear our minds. We become immersed in the sounds and the landscape before us. To transcend that similar feeling of barrier in space, use the beach example and project back site-specific ambient soundscapes. These will be strictly installed only along the periphery of the colonies where there are views to the outer realm. They will mask out unwanted sound hailing from other activities occurring away from the periphery, so as to create a total enclosed audio "space." The illusory sonic perception of depth and nature, as exemplified in the music samples above, is the key element serving to aid the listener in overcoming the sense of containment.

    Yup, I'm changing my concept again, folks.
    Sun, May 20, 2007  Permanent link
    Categories: sound
    Sent to project: Design Media Arts at UCLA
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    I've been particularly fascinated by the works of Bill Fontana, in which his approach to sound is that where he brings to the forefront patterns from our natural environments that we otherwise would never have paid any attention to. Because we tend to only consciously listen to those sounds with meaning (i.e. language and music), the rest of what we hear is generally considered meaningless "noise." His works concern themselves with treating the "urban and natural environment as a living source of musical information."

    The following links are some of my personal favorites from his portfolio (descriptions are taken from his website):

    Landscape Soundings, Vienna, 1990
    LANDSCAPE SOUNDINGS, was commisssioned by the Vienna Festival, in cooperation with the Austrian State Radio Company and the Kunsthistorisches and Naturhistorisches Museums.

    This was a large-scale sculptural installation realized in the plaza situated between the Kunsthistorisches and Naturhistorisches museums in the center of Vienna. It translated the architectural theme of art and nature represented by the parallel facing museums into an acoustic transformation of this formal urban garden by overlaying the sensuous live sounds of an existing ancient Danube wetland.

    Sound Island, Paris, 1994

    "Sound Island" was installed at the Arc de Triomphe, in which the live sound of the sea from Normandy was broadcast to 48 loudspeakers hidden on the facade of the monument, creating the illusion that the cars circling the place de l'Etoile were silent. The Arc de Triomphe is an island at the center of an immense traffic circle. It is an urban architectural island not because it is surrounded by water, but by a sea of cars. The constant flow of hundreds of encircling cars are the dominant visual and aural experience one has when standing under the towering monument, looking out at Paris. This sound sculpture explored the transformation of the visual and aural experience of traffic. Live natural white sounds of the sea from the Normandy coast were transmitted to loudspeakers installed on the facade of the monument. The presence of the breaking and crashing waves created the illusion that the cars were silent. This was accomplished in contradiction to the visual aspects of the situation. The sound of the sea is natural white sound, and has the psycho-acoustic ability to mask other sounds, not by virtue of being louder, but because of the sheer harmonic complexity of the sea sound.

    Pigeon Soundings, 2005

    Since the end of World War II, the church of St. kolumba has been a ruin, inhabited by thousands of pigeons. "Pigeon Soundings" is an 8 channel sound map of the acoustic life and movements of these pigeons in St. Kolumba; where they nest along the top of the west wall, and fly back and forth across a large rectangular open gap, to the top of a parallel roof surface, that diagonally slants downward across the remainder of the ruin.

    This sound map is an 8 channel real time recording of the movements and voices of pigeons in the ruin. Eight microphones were mounted in two parallel groups of four that were placed along the two sides of the rectangular space. The resulting recordings mapped out the movements and overlapping sound fields of the pigeons behavior and flights within the space.

    In the future, when the new museum is built, it will no longer be a nesting site for pigeons. These 8 channel recordings will be played from a sculptural installation of 8 loudspeakers that are placed in the same spatial positions as the microphones, becoming an acoustic evocation of this 50 year period in between being a functioning church and a museum for the next century.

    This ruin being taken over by pigeons may at first give the impression of decay and death. It is certainly nature's way of reclaiming what had gone out human control. In this 50 year span of pigeons sounding in the ruin, many timeless generations of pigeons came and went. In this passage of nameless birds, the space was returned to a pure state of timelessness, where all of its soundings were supposed to be unheard. These pigeon soundings became the space dreaming to itself, returning to a primal state that lay in the realm of new beginnings.
    Sun, May 20, 2007  Permanent link
    Categories: video, sound, artists
    Sent to project: Design Media Arts at UCLA
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    (click above image to launch site)

    Beautiful site with this interesting photograph of plants set against a solid black background. In a way it feels very space-like and futuristic; the design of the interface/navigation on the page is like this elegant blend of technology and nature. I am most drawn to their choice of sounds and that brief, lush background music which give the illusion of depth when there is none.

    Sun, May 20, 2007  Permanent link
    Categories: sound, websites
    Sent to project: Design Media Arts at UCLA
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