This piece is part of a larger exploration in and development of a relationship between color and sound. While there is no literal aural equivalent of a color or chromatic equivalent of a sound (not to be confused with the term "chromatic" in music theory in reference to chromatic scales, for example), I am interested in equivalent, sensorial experiences.
The images used in this piece are derived from one of my sketchbooks and are used here to create an abstract landscape. The color of the images corresponds to the sound generated which, in turn, is generated by taking the colors frequency in THz and simply generating the sound in a range that we can actually hear (The colors in the visible spectrum have a frequency interval that ranges between ~ 430–750 THz, well beyond the range of human hearing—which is approximately 20-20,000 Hz). To widen the range a bit, I doubled and halved the frequency number so as to expand the frequency range into 8 octaves (when going beyond 8 octaves, the shifting of the tone becomes difficult to discern).
I shot the source video for this a while back after I gave my dog, Ruby, a bath. I chose a 12 second section section with several layers of video timed slightly differently than the others to see how the sound and the video would go out of sync (thinking about Steve Reich's work with tape loops and phases). What begins with a small terrier frantically trying to dry herself off on our unmade bed quickly evolves into an abstract display of flowing forms, color and sound that removes itself more and more from it's original context.
Untitled (Screech Owl), 2011
Untitled (Meadowlands), 2011
Untitled (Screech Owl II), 2011
This is based on a live performance I was involved in at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago with the band Implodes, and Sydney Australia-based artist and computational designer Rene Christen back in November of 2010.
Using an application that Rene designed, I ran a live audio feed from a microphone that was placed in front of the band directly into my laptop. The application, which utilizes two monitors, used one as a canvas and the other the actual resulting, evolving composition that was projected as a backdrop for the band. On the canvas side, on the bottom the wave form from the audio feed was visible and divided into 256 sections. Each of these sections was a layer that could be selected and drawn on. The opacity of each layer was determined by the volume of the area selected. Above the wave form was the actual canvas area that was used to make the drawings using a digital drawing tablet. Additionally, there was an array of effects that could be applied and adjusted in real time (fades, blurs, passes, glows, etc).
This was created using a song called Screech Owl, featured on Implodes new release, Black Earth on Kranky Records.
These are all drawings from one of my sketchbooks that I brought along with me while traveling for work. Mostly these were all drawn in airports, on airplanes, in hotels, bars, and restaurants. A few of these ended up in a show I did in Columbus with my friends Sarah Weinstock and Elizabeth Gerdeman at Skylab called "Means to No End."
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Untitled (Six Color Study), 2011
This is the result of some experimentation I've been doing with some ideas concerning the relationship between color and sound. Where most of my work incorporates some of my drawing, with this I just wanted to play with some simple elements and see what came out on the other end.
The sound is based on the frequency of colors that are used in each piece. The colors in the visible spectrum have a frequency interval that ranges between ~ 430–750 THz, well beyond the range of human hearing (which is approximately 20-20,000 Hz). For the sound, I just started with a sine wave that just used hertz instead of terahertz.
Each animated layer in the (red, orange, green, and blue) is comprised of 10 layers representing 10
octaves of sound. This was achieved by either incrementally dividing or multiplying the numbers by two until they reached their minimum or maximum level within the audible range.
Untitled (Violet), 2011
This is just a test run for some ideas concerning the relationship between color and sound that I'm thinking about in my animation work and using sound outside of the structure of a western musical scale. The color violet has a frequency interval of ~ 670–750 THz, well beyond the range of human hearing (which is approximately 20-20,000 Hz). For the sound, I just started with a sine wave that varied between 670 and 750 Hz. I wanted each layer in the animation to be represented by an octave of the sound so I either incrementally divided or multiplied the numbers by two until they reached their minimum or maximum range within the audible range. I ended up with ten octaves which meant that I would have ten layers within the composition.