Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ballet and Colour and Soundscape

A total windsculpture by Glyph Graves

I will leave you with the notes of the artist himself to explain to you this wonderfully delicate work, in which he has mapped sound and visuality onto the vagaries and randomness of one of the components of a virtual climate - wind...

"This installation takes the Second Life® wind and maps it to movement, colour and a set of notes represented in the forms of creatures moving in the air. Each individual creature in the main installation is independent, correlated by the wind...

... You will see the windmap that maps the SL wind to colour....

... You will hear the windflutes that map the wind vector to two sets of notes....

... This is a continuation of my play with mapping the SL wind.. synthesia for all :) Previously I had mapped the wind to the colour vector and used it to display the wind in part of the sim from <0,0,0> to <90,90,0> . This can be seen on the ground at Brooklyn is Watching along with the tubular windflute..."

Technical Notes
The x and y movement of the jellyfish/ windworms is a mapping from the SL wind vector.
The colours are the wind vector mapped to the Red Green Blue Vector, with strength as the blue component.

In the main installation the X component of the wind is mapped to the DreamPad notes and the Y axis to the flute. Wind strength modulates the volume on both, and the tempo of the flute (rather perversely I made the tempo inversely proportional to the wind strength, ie stronger = slower). The result is surprisingly pleasing.. there is some dissonance, but then I like that. Mostly it is melodic but of course the result depends on the strength and direction of the SL wind.

Sample sets were downloaded from open source sound sites.

The Padbell note set and the Dreampad note set is by Jovica,

The flute is by the London Philhamonia (with some minor modification in Audacity)

You can teleport to Glyph Graves's windsculpture directly from here.


Alpha Auer said...

Today Glyph sent me a very eloquent addition to what I already posted here. So, it really behooves me to share what he wrote with everyone else who interested in his output:

It might be helpful here to add my perspective on the piece to the comments already made … just for completeness.

The best way to think of the installation and the way it is meant to be thought of is as one large kinetic sculpture whose elements interact with the digital fabric of SL.

It is meant to be viewed not only as a whole but over a period of time. Of course, the aesthetic of this sculpture like any other sculpture is an emergent property of the elements that make it up. In this instance it is helpful to understand what the individual elements that make up the piece are doing to create the whole sculpture.

Each element expresses the same thing but translated into different parts of our perceptual spectrum (hence the reference to Synaesthesia in the notecard).

The position and movement of each element of the sculpture IS the shade of colour, it IS the note it produces. That is, they all are the same thing expressed in a different way that feeds back to reinforce the whole.

Just as the combination of the notes from all the elements produce an effect equivalent to a symphony that unfolds over time so do the colour and the movement. All three combine to produce the sculpture.

Finally, the project was aimed not only at extending our senses but also showcasing a small portion of the tools that SL offers us. The lovely thing about SL is that we do not have to adhere to forms constrained by the limitations of conventional media. We are freed to do more though there are other constraints such as prim numbers and server loads. I didn’t have to use the SL wind, I could just as easily have used a more conventional approach, different algorithms to do a similar thing but I find something quite beautiful in the way the wind has been implemented in SL and it deserves a showing.

I could also have used inanimate objects instead of worms and jellyfish but that was a design choice on my part that I felt introduced another layer to the sculpture. My work usually has an organic feel to it though the elements are not usually so recognisable.

Juko said...

Now also the subject of a rave review on NWN, and a video discussion linked there, with Glyph and Dizzy Banjo.