I was in the group Music by Rules: Life DeCoded. For my project, I thought about amplifying the subtleties of daily life that we tend to not notice. For example, things people do when they are not consciously thinking about their actions, absorbed in something other than their body movements, and subtle fidgety movements that people typically do not notice in each other. I examined a friend (the friend was unknowing that he was a subject) for 2 minutes and recorded every little movement he made. I wrote the movements down in my notebook taking note of both chronology and frequency of the movements, then I associated a letter key with each sound, essentially creating a composition using the structure of the fidgety movements. I wanted to use MAX/MSP because for my research group I looked at many algorithmic sound art pieces and was fascinated by the idea of using algorithms to represent something more organic, like human fidgeting.
Using MAX/MSP, I programmed 7 keys on my computer keyboard to trigger certain sounds that I found from freesound.org. I used mostly sounds in the key of G, just to have a harmonious sense to the piece, but a few are lacking melody all together. I play the keys in time with the movements to create a representation of the subtle movements through sound. I also finally started to understand MAX/MSP, which is a nice skill to have for future projects. I think it would be interesting to take this project to a larger scale and create sound pieces for people of different genders, ages, and other demographics to see how certain people sound when compared to each other. Here’s a picture of what the final piece on MAX looks like.
I do not have a sound clip to share on here, but I will be performing this piece live tonight. I originally had the idea to perform it live and have it be based off of the class in the moment (sort of an improvisational piece), but I decided to have more of a pre-produced project (it still is improvisation to an extent, because the score I wrote out is not a traditional score by any means). This was an interesting project for me in the sense that being able to interpret subtle human intricacies through sound gives a broader understanding of the fact that we are never truly still. I also feel great about understanding MAX/MSP a little more! Hopefully I’ll be able to incorporate this technology into my future music and future sound art projects.