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click! Jon Belka from Sound Design: Studio


CHALLENGE: The Use of Metaphor in Sound. Create a sound design representative of visual art.

STATEMENT:
I am choosing a photograph by Peter Essick, his collection a tribute to Ansel Adams’ work portraying the American landscape. The photograph is a stunning, romantic image of a California desert pierced by “minarets” rising into an expansive sky. Sunlight and shadows lend a lot of drama. I have a bit of a larger scheme in mind—I am currently writing a screenplay for an independent study set in the American desert. My research has led me to a lot of photographs similar to this one. These images, and the feel of this score and its translation from its landscape, have been on my mind for quite some time. I am very excited to explore different instruments and the structure of a song, as I would like to lean more toward music for this project. I want to craft a cinematic score to match the scope of the photograph. There is a lot of gravity, a lot of air and space, and freedom without an anchor that can lend itself nicely to a rich production. I’m thinking about the music of Max Richter, Kanye West, and Lana del Rey. I intend to begin with a thunderstorm to draw some sort of tumbling piano out of. I’d like a couple of deeper notes to also spread out, and to incorporate a hand clap at some point that suggests a seduction, a euphoria, as we find some higher notes andsome stringers to become a full fledged Hollywood-esque score. I’d like to maybe play with some vocals, high and reverbed to be far away, almost absorbed by the rest of it, as well as find some hip hop beats. I have a few melodies and themes in mind, including one built around two chords I would like to explore. I know very little about music besides me playing around on the keyboard, hence the challenge, so I am excited to learn more and see what I can create.

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various pre-recorded sound effects, original recordings, GarageBand, and Digital Performer.


click! Anne Donnelly from Sound Design: Studio


CHALLENGE: The Use of Metaphor in Sound. Create a sound design representative of visual art.

STATEMENT:
My goal for project 3 is to create a 60-90 second soundscape using sound as a metaphor for a visual object. The soundscape will be based on Camille Claudel’s sculpture La Valse (The Waltz). The sculpture has many interesting elements such as the way it moves from smooth, shiny bodies to the rough, unpolished train, as if they are stuck in a whirlwind. I am interested in the way the man and woman’s extended hands are just barely touching, even though the rest of their bodies are wrapped in a tight embrace. There is something melancholy, nostalgic and yet tender about how her head is tucked into his shoulder as she leans away from him. Based on this image of the sculpture, there is also a high contrast between the bronze and the blue wall behind it, as well as the wooden pedestal. Because the sculpture represents two people waltzing, it might be interesting to have a certain waltz time, languid rhythmic quality to the soundscape. The movement of the waltz also suggests something circular and repetitive. I am imagining a waltz gone wrong, something that begins smooth and tender, but eventually loses its grace and becomes untethered and rough, floating away. There is also something in the idea that it is two bodies twisting into one. I would like to start by listening to some waltzes, particularly those by Claude Debussy, whose impressionist style I think matches the tenderness and the melancholy found in the sculpture. I would like to include simple sound effects like glasses clinking or a woman’s giggle, sounds that might represent things that two people do together. The piece will eventually turn, as there are more and more “missed connections” until it eventually floats away all together.

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various pre-recorded sound effects, original recordings, GarageBand, and Digital Performer.


click! Adam Santalla from Sound Design: Studio


CHALLENGE: The Use of Metaphor in Sound. Create a sound design representative of visual art.

STATEMENT:
"Displayed on the wall like that, I'm still good for something. If I were completely ruined, you wouldn't have taken my portrait." ~ Leda Antonia Machado. Walls of Havana landmarks have been decorated with images of Che Guevara and Fidel Castro since the success of the Cuban Revolution in 1959.   This image is a portrait of Leda Antonia Machado, plastered onto the wall of a building in Havana by the artists J.R. and Jose Parlá.  The nostalgia of the Diaspora has turned Cuba into something sublime.  This photograph has really crystalized something about the Cuban identity for me.  Our nostalgia has transformed Cuba; it is not an island in the Carribean, it is a state of grace. 
There are three components of this metaphor.  There is the image of the J.R. and Parlá installation.  There is a textual component: conversations about the Embargo, the poetry of José Martí and Nicolas Guillén, my abuela’s old recipes.  The sound component is the recording of these texts in English and Spanish, and the melody of Ernesto Lucuana’s song Siboney.  I would also like to include some political chatter.  The story would move from the political speeches, to the poems and recipes, which would cut out to the music.  I will record myself reading the recipes and the poems in Spanish, and others reading the poems in English.  I will edit the recording of Siboney so that it sounds like it’s coming out of an old record player.  “The politics of transfiguration that diaspora necessitates strives in the pursuit of the sublime, struggling to repeat the unrepeatable; to present the unrepresentable.” ~ Paul Gilroy

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various pre-recorded sound effects, original recordings, GarageBand, and Digital Performer.


click! Ryan Whitney from Sound Design: Studio


CHALLENGE: The Use of Metaphor in Sound. Create a sound design representative of visual art.

STATEMENT:
For our third project, my plan is to create an abstract auditory representation of Specchio Falso by Magritte, pictured here. I find a sense of longing in this painting. There is a shadowy darkness in the eye, despite the depiction of a clear blue sky. I hope to capture this juxtaposition by focusing on the dichotomy of freedom and captivity. This piece will be between 1:00 and 1:30 long. To accomplish this goal, I will be layering tracks created from original MIDI recordings and altered source material. I envision starting with bright sounds, depicting wide open spaces and a care-free feeling. As the piece progresses, the feeling will change. I want to transition to a darker state, leaving the piece feeling cold and lonely. I envision using sounds from instruments like a harp, birds chirping, and wind chimes to depict the initial bright state. Then, I plan to gradually change to deep, droning bass notes, water dripping, and clanging metal. Transitioning between these differing sounds will hopefully give the listener a sense of longing for the joyful feeling that they experience at the beginning of the piece.

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various pre-recorded sound effects, original recordings, Logic, and Digital Performer..


click! Kai Filippucci from Sound Design: Studio


CHALLENGE: The Use of Metaphor in Sound. Create a sound design representative of visual art.

STATEMENT:
In this work I am attempting to express fears and anxieties that have a social basis. The text collected within is an amalgam of private thoughts and the words of others. The voices of individuals can be heard globally through social media like YouTube, blogs, and Facebook. However, these same outlets for dissemination have enabled an aggregate noise. The hum of everyone's voices speaking at once is difficult to parse. I chose to work with text as a reference to advertising and mass media. It is a comfort to me to be a creative force in the media environment that I find myself constantly surrounded by – to be a producer and not just a consumer. As mass media becomes home, I don't stray far from it.

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various pre-recorded sound effects, original recordings, Logic, and Digital Performer.




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Last Modified:
April 15, 2014