Sketching an interactive soundscape

18 May 2013

For the upcoming field work session in Imatra, we are busy thinking about possible music and interaction patterns.

The “score” above is one attempt to visualise our ideas. According to this, an interactive  soundscape for the DEIND project will consist of three elements:

  1. sustaining sounds — derived from microphones placed in the the room which will generate controlled and filtered audio feedback (coloured waves),
  2. grain structures — highly dynamic grainlets that are closely associated with the performer’s interaction with the instruments (blue clouds), and
  3. regular rhythmical patterns, predominantly located in the high-frequency range (orange dots).

The soundscape will be generative, reacting to external influences on various levels. As the analysis of the first field trip suggests immediate feedback to the performer’s activity (such a direct feedback from the sonic environment was noticed and resulted in positive reactions), howeverthe intention is to as well let the environment have a long-term influence on the soundscape. It is therefore planned to introduce a combination direct and indirect cues, connecting the sensor network with the soundscape-generating logic.

The second sketch shows such interrelationships between the various sound layers.

Semantic groups

This sketch also features semantic groups of physical manipulation such as

  • continuous, snap-back — equivalent to joysticks
  • continuous, state preserving — equivalent to sliders)
  • trigger — equivalent to push buttons)
  • noise/signal — complex sensory, equivalent to a microphone)

It is based on this post on eTextile manipulation and this post on ideas about controller types.

Physical activity

We differentiate between several sources of physical activity that may influence the behaviour of the system. It can be

  • internal — activity inside the performance space, more specifically
    • client activity — gestural/sonic/object manipulation
    • carer activity — sonic, from within the performance space
  • pre-composed — there are musical gestures compositionally bound to the time line
  • external — activity outside the performance space, e.g. people moving outside or the sound of the ventilation system