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click! Edward Alexander from Sound Design: Studio


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

STATEMENT:
The ambition of my third project “Metaphor in Sound” is to aurally represent the form, tone, color, mood, and texture of the untitled piece (Boy) created by surrealist Zhang Xiaogang. This image is striking for various reasons, which gives my project many avenues to accomplish the goal. First, the image is surrealistic which will influence which sounds I use. I will have to stray away from literal sounds and aim for more abstract sounds to capture elements such as the wispy watercolors and ominous gray hues fading. The abstract challenge will be aurally recreate this smoke, which isn’t thick as smoke from a burning fire, or home would generate. This is an unnatural mist of fumes.  Another challenge presents itself how to represent the black, glossy gaze out into the distance. I will attempt to dissociate this piece from traditional sound techniques that indicates an unnerving environment. The basis behind this decision is that the face is rather neutral, not lending itself to expression. The boy looks indifferent to his own fading away.  My ambition is to capture the foreboding, resolute, and somewhat mystical worry that piece evokes I will accomplish this goal through the use of generated sounds within Logic. As a result, these sounds will compose the music that the image lends itself too.  The initial sound that I attach to this sound is the synth lead. The image is a damp image so I’ll configure a wet reverb on those synths and sounds. Furthermore, I’ll play with the modulation for the synths, as I believe volume and pitch alterations can represent the image’s sharpness. I’m not inclined to include bright sounds, as there aren’t bright colors in the piece, rather a mix of whites, grays, blues, and blacks.  Rather, I will find a heavy bass to work as the pulse of the piece. I’m still unsure of how I’ll incorporate percussion. It might not be included in this piece. Then I will import the piece into Digital performer. From there I will import audio from the found effects server. I’ll import a panting or arrhythmic breathing into the composition. I’ll then dampen that sound, with a reverb on 100% mix.  Or I’ll muffle the breathing through a an amp distortion. This will illustrate the effect the smoke is having on the boy. However, I still need to stray from the literal. This isn’t a piece about a boy trapped in a fire or smoke. There’s fantasy imbedded into this piece,

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various pre-recorded sound effects, original recordings, Logic Pro X, and Digital Performer 9.


click! Brandon Sangston from Sound Design: Studio


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

STATEMENT:

For my project, I will be exploring the possibilities of representing a piece of abstract art with sound. The work of art I chose to represent is Iced Lemon Drop by Sharon Cummings. Because of its abstract nature, I plan to compose a piece based around the feeling of the colors and flow of the painting using MIDI instruments and selected recordings. I envision that there will be two contrasting voices representing the blue and the yellow respectively, further nuanced by the depth and hue of each. The interactions of these voices will be determined by the flow of lines throughout the painting. In terms of difficulties, I believe my biggest challenge will be nailing down the right timbres and tones to effectively represent the artwork. I originally was torn between a surrealist panting of a dream-like world and a more complicated abstract piece, but I happened to stumble across this earlier today and decided that it was a better option. For an abstract painting, I feel that it is a good balance of color and shape. It is not too sparse, yet it’s not so busy that it would be incredibly difficult and time consuming to effectively represent the piece. I was also drawn to this piece because the title and overall feeling of the artwork suggest a more lighthearted nature, as opposed to the more serious artwork I had chosen before. I believe that sonically representing Iced Lemon Drop will provide a unique and interesting challenge.

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various pre-recorded sound effects, original recordings, Logic Pro X, and Digital Performer 9.


click! Lindsay Wilkins from Sound Design: Studio


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

STATEMENT:
For my third project, I am using Edward Hopper’s 1942 painting Nightcrawlers.  This painting has always been a favorite of mine, mainly because of the story it tells or rather, leaves room to tell.  I am intrigued by the characters – the Nightcrawlers – and would love to explore representing them through sound.  I also think this painting offers a wide variation of warms and cools, darks and lights.  These contrasts will provide opportunities to play with a variety of sounds and tones.  Although I don’t know yet exactly what I’m going to do, I would like to try my hand at making a musical composition running from 1:00 – 1:30.  I think it would be interesting to focus on one character, particularly the man sitting alone and facing away from us.  I could play with his story as a whole: why he is there, what he was feeling before he walked in, etc. and possibly weave that in to how he is interacting with his environment.  I would seek to answer questions like: Is he just sitting alone or is he lonely?  Is he from out of town?  Where did he come from?  Questions like these have the potential to guide the sounds that I choose.  Another option would be to tackle this on a more broad level.  I imagine that final work of a broad interpretation would build less than a story-telling composition, but could still be very interesting in terms of the potential contrast and tone – light and dark, wet and dry sounds woven together.  The lines carry the eye throughout the painting; this movement could be complimentary to the baseline of sounds representing the light.  The two problems I anticipate would be 1) trying to do too much.  There is a lot to play with here and I think it will be tricky to simplify but still encompass all of the emotion in the painting and 2) getting stuck in the time period.  I know that this was painted in the 1940s and I could see myself getting wrapped up in making it sound like a 1940s piece.  Although that might be an option, I think I would prefer to make something that pulls inspiration from the time period but doesn’t necessarily sound like it came from that era. This is a beautiful painting, but is also very simple.  There is not too much to look at, but at the same time carries the eye around the frame and keeps it interested, particularly because of its lighting.  I envision my final piece being simple yet clever, just like this painting.   I cannot help but thinking about old hymns as I study this painting, not so much their lyrics as the music itself – simple, yet impactful

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various pre-recorded sound effects, original recordings, Logic Pro X, and Digital Performer 9.


click! Andrew Kovalenko from Sound Design: Studio


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

STATEMENT:
For project 3, I will use metaphor in sound to sonically interpret a piece of visual art.  I have chosen to represent an illustration from Carl Jung’s The Red Book, which I have attached on the last page of this document.  I chose this image for a variety of reasons, the first of which being that it has stuck out in my mind since the first time I saw it.  I also chose the image because of its structure.  The image is interesting in that it is more or less divided into 2 halves.  The bottom half depicts a relatively ordinary European town on the coast in a somewhat realistic style.  The top half, on the other hand, is done in a much more abstract, almost impressionistic style.  It depicts a figure that appears to be sitting cross-legged on a floating carpet, holding an urn above his or her head.  Above the urn is what seems to be a depiction of the sun.  The entire top half of the image gives off a cosmic sense.  When interpreting this image in sound, I intend to reflect this cosmic sense while blending it with something that sounds more grounded and ordinary in order to depict this visual divide.  I also intend to structure the piece in a similar manner to the image, with 2 distinct sections representing the sections of the image.  The depiction of the sun in the image is the focus, and in order to reflect this I plan to incorporate sound with a swelling characteristic that looms above the rest of the mix. Some effects and content I plan to incorporate into this assignment include reverb, echo, panning, phaser, synthesizers, and sound samples.  I plan to use primarily synthesized sounds with reverb and echo to portray the “cosmic” portion of the image, with more organic sounds to portray the bottom portion of the image.  Some of the samples might include noise from a town or city, ocean or water sounds, sounds to represent the cars, train, and ships in the image, and a factory sound.  I plan to alter these sounds so that they are recognizable to an extent, but also do not sound exactly right and so that the listener has to think to determine what the sound might be.

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various pre-recorded sound effects, original recordings, Logic Pro X, and Digital Performer 9.


click! Savannah Thieme from Sound Design: Studio


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

STATEMENT:
This is one of 48 line forms that are generated by a computer each day. Many of them are good but I chose this one in particular because of its dimension. I like how it appears to be not quite two dimensional as well as not quite three dimensional, kind of like a 2.5 dimensional shape. I would represent this as a struggling duality of sounds, such as with two different tones whose frequencies are in a 2:3 proportion. I also like the proportion of the triangular shapes to the rectangular shapes, as one of the triangles looks like a right triangle from a front-left perspective, and a right triangle is one half of a rectangle. This could be depicted by a 1:2 ratio, with the triangle as 1 and the rectangle as two: these could be made the shapes of two melodies, one moving twice as fast as the other. A triangle also has 3 sides to a rectangle's 4, indicating a 3:4 ratio, which be represented by pan speed or rhythmic emphasis. This is something that can evolve over time. I would like to make the evolution dependent on the relative distance between each point, but I want to leave where to stop, start, and reverse in the cycle up to my own discretion so that it is not entirely algorithmic. Another thing I want to experiment with is the line thicknesses, which could be represented with chord thickness and texture. I want this to be extremely easy to understand, so I will do my best to use pure or near pure tones. I would use sine waves except for the fact that they sound so bad, so I leave myself a little room for that statement.

SOURCE MATERIAL: Various pre-recorded sound effects, original recordings, Logic Pro X, and Digital Performer 9.




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Last Modified:
November 24, 2015