Exploring Boundaries: A DMSA Graduate Show Special Part 3 | Sound, moving image and interactivity

All the pieces precented in the Pt1 and Pt 2 are placing sound in relation to enviroments and particular issues using other media and advanced technologies to challenge the audience. In this last part we would like to present works that continue experimenting with media and technologies but have a more firm focus on moving image or interactivity. Sound for moving image is one of the profile areas in our course. Many of our graduate students have produced outstanding work for film and moving image, crafting their skills on both sound and video editing, film scoring, foley or storyboarding and production and launching successful freelance careers in the sector. This year, we have some exceptional graduate pieces exploring the boundaries between sound, film, performance, and installation.

Aki Purser’s 記憶 (Memory) is an audio-visual piece that explores the fragmented structures of human memory. Developed around the poem 記憶 (Memory) by Tian Yuan and taking inspiration from Phillip Larkins’ An Arundel Tomb, the piece examines the expiration of memory and its inability to withstand interference. The 5 minute film consists of rapidly fluctuating rhythms, upon which runs a continuous stream of black and white imagery. The broken rhythms are used to portray the fractured nature of memory and this is emphasised through sequences of still photography that have been adapted for the moving image.

Jordan Lewis’ The Nova Gathering is a multi-media art piece exploring the use of media in our ‘post-truth’ society. Using the structure of a new religious movement, The Nova Gathering, this piece takes visual, audio and performance elements to play on the idea of what truth really is. The Nova Gathering is primarily a satirical take on the way “facts” can be presented today, where the focus is more on the production and entertainment values, rather that the validity of the content. These thoughts led Lewis to consider how well he could replicate this kind of process in the fabrication of a fake organisation and its credibility.

Bobbie Cook’s The Hard Shoulder is an animated short film pulling influences from the 70s-90s in both animation style, technique and sound design aiming to create something faithfully nostalgic but also current and fresh. The story is about a Bonnie and Clyde type of relationship between a widower and his daughter travelling to find a man he believes can return his wife to him. The pieces has an upbeat mood driven by a kind of psychedelic mix of funk, jazzy influences and more recent flavours of hip hop. The animation style is inspired by Late 80s-early 90s Anime with the illustration and design in the style of artists like Eizin Suzuki and Hiroshi Nagai

Alvaro Villar Castillo reverse engineers the film industry’s visual storyboards to propose a method of sonic storyboarding. SONORAMA is a project that involves the creation of a cinematic album, both orchestral and synthesised composition for imaginary film situations. The installation aims to represent possible cinematic situations as leitmotifs for certain characters, imaginary scenarios and atmospheres for a film. It is presented to the public as a surround 5.1 installation. Speakers surround the audience sitting down in an illuminated bench in a dark room. The installation’s sonic content was inspired and based on already existing comics and storyboards, as if they were the screenplay of a real film. Each individual composition represents different a cinematic genre (ex. Sci-fi, Horror, Action) and scene (ex. Chasing…) All sounds were recorded and created with synthesisers and/or samplers for this specific installation.

Oskar Jeff’s Reconstructing Tapes is an audio-visual installation comprising of four VCRs, four corresponding televisions and a pair of speakers. A composition built entirely from VHS samples is split into two and transfer back to VHS tape. The two tapes play simultaneously, performing the full composition. The side televisions play looping static, expanding the space and drawing the audience inward. The tapes are deconstructed, reconstructed and finally deconstructed again within the space. The work is a reflection on the history of sampling practice, and explores how samples can be disconnected from their sources and used as raw creative material.

The idea of listening as a participatory activity is central to all the pieces presented. The pieces presented above present experimental approaches into film sound where the viewer/listener plays an important role in completing the work. The last two pieces presented in this post are expanding further the idea of interactivity. Jack Lister’s Flood the Box is a generative instrument that explores the use of water as an input medium for generative music. Combining both acoustic sound objects and in-the-box virtual instruments, Flood the Box aims to free the computer musician from the shackles of working to the metric grid. The audience is transported in their mind to their favourite body of water; whether that’s an ocean, a harbour, a lake or a diddy pond with the aim to feel that same peaceful and tranquil feeling that being near a calm body of water can bring.

Edward Scott’s Lissajous Sounds is an interactive sound installation comprising of a pendulum hung from the ceiling which, when spinning, creates a diffusion of sound that mirrors the movement of the pendulum through speakers that are set up in a circle around it. The pattern-like movement of the pendulum- and all pendulums- are called ‘Lissajous curves’, named after Joules-Antoine Lissajous, the physicist who studied them in 1857. When the pendulum ultimately comes to a halt, the sound stops; this reflects the phenomenon of sound as a moving body in space, happening as a process in time.

PROGRAMME

Performance Studio:

Private view: 1st June
Aki Purser / Jeph Vanger (1800 changeover)

2nd – 3rd June:
Jeph Vanger // Sφera

4th June:
DMSA Day / Alvaro Villar-Castillo // SONORAMA

5th June:
Alvaro Villar-Castillo // SONORAMA

6th – 8th June:
JORDAN LEWIS // THE N0VA GATHERING

9th – 10th June
Aki Purser // 記憶 (MEMORY)

Sound Diffusion Lab:

1st – 3rd June:
Oli Johns // The Miraculous Land – Library

4th – 5th June:
Edward Scott // Lissajous Sounds
PJ Davy // Heads in The Cloud

6th June:
Liam Eshgi-Luck // The Cacophonic Hospital

7th – 8th June:
Edward Scott // Lissajous Sounds

8th – 10th June:
PJ Davy // Heads in The Cloud

Ongoing Installations
Room 229
Oskar Jeff // Reconstructing Tapes
Sophie Kiarie // Soul
Liam Eshgi-Luck // The Cacophonic Hospital
Michael McKeown // Aquarium Music
Bobbie Cook // Hard Shoulder

Room 228
Jasmyn Bloch // FEMPORIS

The Shower room
Ivan Arbiol Camps // The Return of the Unwanted

Sound Diffusion Lab Foyer
Jack Lister // Flood the Box

DMSA Show featuring Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner)

On June 4th members of the audience and students will have the chance to experience a unique mix of works from our first and second year students as well as the degree pieces on display by our third year students. Expect an eclectic selection of innovative multichannel digital music compositions, interactive installations, audiovisual pieces and films, radio art experiements, custom instruments and generative pieces.

In the occasion of the DMSA show we will also have the honour to have internationally acclaimed artist and composer Robin Rimbaud (aka Scanner).
Scanner traverses the experimental terrain between sound and space connecting a bewilderingly diverse array of genres. Since 1991 he has been intensely active in sonic art, producing concerts, installations and recordings, the albums Mass Observation (1994), Delivery (1997), and The Garden is Full of Metal (1998) hailed by critics as innovative and inspirational works of contemporary electronic music.

He scored the hit musical comedy Kirikou & Karaba (2007) and Narnia ballet (2015) based on the popular children’s book, Philips Wake-Up Light (2009), the re-opening of the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam in 2012 and in 2016 installed his Water Drops sound work in Rijeka Airport in Croatia.

His work Salles des Departs is permanently installed in a working morgue in Paris whilst Vex House, the residential house he designed a permanent soundtrack with Chance de Silva architects, was finished to critical acclaim in 2017.

Committed to working with cutting edge practitioners he collaborated with Bryan Ferry, Wayne MacGregor, Mike Kelley, Torres, Michael Nyman, Steve McQueen, Laurie Anderson and Hussein Chalayan, amongst many others.

DMSA Show is happening on the 4th of June, 12-6pm, Performance Studio, GP.
DMSA Show is curated by DMSA Alumni Maja Mihalik.

International Women’s Day Special

Digital Music and Sound Arts doesn’t mean a men-only club: we support equal participation to the course by male and female artists and producers; an aim that is still difficult to achieve as female students often either choose more safe pathways or are not confident enough to choose a creative sound course.

It needs to be said that some of our most exceptional work in this course has been created by female students and some of our notable alumni are female who hold competitive posts in the field. We want to make our students feel empowered through the course to explore their unique creative perspectives, to take risks, to feel inspired and to be self-driven.

In celebration of International Womens Day, we would like to use this space to precent some of the work produced by our students and alumni which we feel give a well informed perspective of the breadth of creative outputs that the students have developed over the years. There are of course many notable student works missing from this feature and we hope to be able to bring it to the foreground in another occassion in the near future!

We begin with Jade Gunner who is a student currently in her first year in the course. Jade’s ‘Watercolour Spaceship’ is a fascinating exploration of colour, texture and timbre reminiscent of expressionist painting.

Merging music with dance as well as other forms of art and media is something that we encourage our students to do as part of their learning process. Aki Purser is a student currently in the third year of the course who has been developping an intersting and unique body of audiovisual work. Her piece I, Omega encapsulates the intensity of her work combining contemporary dance aesthetics, electronic collage and experimental visuals.

Olivial Louvel, currently in her second year in our course, is exceptional in creating fascinating synapses Facross voice, computer music and digital narrative. You can enjoy her work in situ at the Roayl Pavilion Gardens via the ReHear audiowalk.

'My Crown' by Olivia Louvel from Cat Werk Imprint on Vimeo.

Rebecca Davis aka Ecka Mordecai is the artist behind our beautiful banner but also an alumni of the course. Ecka, currently a freelance artist, cellist and curator, has developed a subtle yet texturally layered palette of sounds, images, objects and actions while studying in the course. Sand:blink is a wonderful audiovisual experience into her unique world of microsounds and textures.

Guoda Diržytė is an experimental music instruments designer, composer and sound artist living between the UK and Lithuania. A recent graduate from our course, Guoda received the Nagoya (Partner University, Japan) Award of Excellence for her excellent piece Kokon Dansetsu Ma [古今 伝説 間] which she developped during a residency in Nagoya.

Beth Chesser is an artist experimenting with sound, noise and music and how they work combined with moving image and new media. ‘Enso’ is her final degree piece for our course, a beautifu stop motion animation film.

Amanda Brooks is a musician, composer and sound artist currently in the second year of our course. She is the lead singer of the band Undercover Agends and her work has been featured in Lewes Light Festival, ReHear Audio Walk (Brighton Digital Festival 2017) and more recently in a fantastic ‘Christmas’ compilation entitled ‘View from a hill’ by the eclectic label Linear Obsessional.

Last week’s DMSA feature presented the work of currenty third year student Jasmyn Bloch. Jasmyn’s powerful mix of voice, femininity and electronics is beautifully demonstrated in her piece Alter, a celebration of the feminine and of women and a great way to end this feature!

Friday Screening event: Blade Runner (1982: Ridley Scott)

Performance Studio Film screening

Friday 13 Oct at 5.30pm (sharp)

Blade Runner (1982: Ridley Scott)

This week’s screening of the original Blade Runner film will be a timely response to the current release of Blade Runner 2049. As sound designers and musicians we are particularly interested in the haunting and evocative music by Greek composer Vangelis.