Sodankylä Jam Sessions realised a remote jam sessions, where musicians played their parts at their homes. The recordings were compiled into a song and a video. I post-processed the sound and mixed the song together.
Does the aurora borealis make a sound? At least for some it does.
This is a reproduction of auroral sound experience I had while working as a research assistant at Sodankylä Geophysical Observatory in Finland. It’s very much a personal experience, and this is an approximation of what I heard. For somebody else the experience might differ.
The aurora activity was at about its peak back then in Winter 2001. There were five of us witnessing a very vivid and bright display of northern lights one evening. It first consisted of three parallel belts, which suddenly converged into one right above us. At that point I started to experience a sound, which I had never before heard in my life.
It appeared to create its own space inside my head. There was no reverberation or any traditional sense of space in it. In a way it was really dry and wet at the same time. It sounded like an infinite number of noises layered on top of each other. Each of the layers could be distinguished however, and it had sort of infinite depth in it, but at the same time it felt constrained (to my abilities?).
On top of that there were these very soft and deep intermittent pops.
The sound didn’t change much, but it came and went away according to the auroral display. The sound ended when the single belt divided back to three. The properties of the sound didn’t change even though I moved my head.
I couldn’t believe what happened, and I hesitated telling the others first. There was a project going on at SGO to collect experiences of the sound of auroras, and I also reported mine. I made a reproduction of my experience later that night, and this is more modern version of that.
The picture is from Pixabay.
I recorded the music video and the sound, and mixed it together.
Mixed and edited dialogue anda promotional video. It’s a fantasy themed boardgame called Perdition’s Mouth.
The rings of Saturn look like a spectrogram, so it occurred to me try how it would sound like. In essence, this a sonification of space!
Sound was created by using an authentic image of rings of Saturn as a spectral source to a series of filters. A 1 pixel slice of the image of the rings was extracted
The ring spectrogram was divided into three color planes, and the color intensity values were transformed into resonant filter cutoff frequencies. In essence one filter unit (per color plane) has 256 sounds playing simultaneously. The individual filters are placed along the x-axis so, that the stereo image consists of 256 steps from left to right. The last two sounds were created with 1024 voices and 3×340 voices.
The spectrum was compressed to a couple of ranges. In some sounds a small variation in certain divider factor per color plane is introduced for a slight chorus like effect. The original lossless sound bits are available on Freesound.
The interactive sound waves builder was presented at the Helsinki Hacklab stand at WÄRK:fest, a DIY/Hacker/Culture -festival. The system consists of a small table, webcam and Max/MSP/Jitter process. Visitors were able to manipulate the sound waves by (re)arranging colorful objects on the table.
The table was simultaneously scanned in two dimensions, and the extracted data was used to create the sound waves, pitches and amplitudes for the oscillators. Besides the musical piece the rearrangement of the colorful objects created a transforming visual piece.
The workshop was held for theaters’ staff and lasted two hours. The workshop was organized as a part of Teatterilaiva theater festival.
By lightly discussing about the general principles of sound design the attention was drawn to available technology and digital sound processing. Sounds and soundscapes were created by using generally available free software and sound libraries. The workshop provided to be a source of interesting ideas for coming shows.
The Finnish Aviation Museum organized an exhibition about flight related myths and legends. The exhibition is called Myyttinen Lento or Mythical Flight in English. The exhibition was designed to spur imagination of kids (and adults). One of the objects of the exhibition was a magic carpet you could ride yourself.
For the design I co-operated with Marko Ahokangas from Dept. of Lighting and Sound Design of Theatre Academy of Finland. Marko created the sounds and I programmed the player. Plogue Bidule was used to create an ever changing and never repeating soundscape, which was fed to an eight channel PA-system, which encompassed the exhibition space.
The location of the sounds in space was controlled by four separate eight channel linear output selectors, which were modulated by independent sine wave oscillators. The sounds were divided in two categories – fast and slow sounds were panned and controlled by separate sub-programmes.
One layer of the soundscape was a synthesized wind like instrument, which picked its pitch (Via FFT) from the other sounds and acted as the musical element. For example when a sound of an airplane was playing and the synth was trigged the synth picked a frequency from the sound of the airplane and generated a musical tone that was in tune with the sound of the airplane.
Provided here is a two channel sample of the completed soundscape.
The sample is from the second song of the three song set Muutos performed at Gospel Savo event in 2009. The drums were electronic and their sound was available only in two channels, so they couldn’t be mixed in as properly as would have been best. All of the other instruments were recorded individually.