Category Archives: Sound

Aural Cinema – Sound Composition

The following is my aural cinema piece that was included in the Summer 2010 Juried Show, Jacob Lawrence Gallery, Seattle, WA.

Description and inspiration below:

“…I chose to analyze Jorge Luis Borges and would now like to apply my observations of his work to create an aural cinema in the style of his narratives. A few trademarks of his work that I have observed are that he uses common academic literary tools (such as footnotes, postscripts, and historical facts) to base his fiction in reality and explores his main theme from multiple perspectives (explicitly and implicitly) each changing and adding layers of understanding to the truth/theme behind the narrative. With the combination of the above, he creates an interesting mix of logic and fantasy where it becomes hard to tell one from the other.

Following these observations, I would like to create a piece that causes the listeners to approach a single theme from multiple different perspectives until they question what perspective is true (if there is one). In order to base the piece in “logic” and abstract it into “fantasy” I intend to use sounds with a wide range of recognizability and compose each one’s inherent cultural, physical, and historical information. By using recognizable sources and real sounds as a starting point to create a realistic soundscape that the listeners can easily relate to, I will then begin to mess with the combination of elements that make a sound seem natural: recognition of the source (such as a bird chirp), where the sound is located (such as up in a tree), and the place the sound inhabits (such as the slight reverb of a forest). Using SuperCollider, I should be able to break the normal relationships between these elements and shape them into new perspectives on what is commonly recognized as “real” or “natural”. In a sense, as Borges is composing with the images and experiences that each word evokes to the reader, I will be trying to do the same with the specific information listeners can gather from a single sound.

Since this will be a tape piece, the only equipment I need will be speakers for playback. I am guessing it will end up being a two channel piece, but I may attempt at a four channels so I can have more flexibility with positioning sound. SuperCollider-wise, I think I will be working a lot with buffers and filters to modify source material, as well as FFT analysis and reverb to create my own iterations on a source. ”