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Tuesday 24. july, 07' - 12:51

It's been days full of funky work and fiddling. The heat kinda stepped down a bit, so it was easier to live and work.


The development of wd40, which is how i call the patch for wd8 sound installation, have taken number of interesting turns, even starting up from scratch and changing concepts. But essentialy what I've been circling around is certain feeling of calmness, maybe zen-like state of mind, where one stops in the middle of wd8 art-farm-house and listens and hears. Hearing the little details of the space, of this loose house-structure, open in all directions, so the wind and the sun and the rain and the sound all come in and rule the place with sounds of birds, cars from a distant road, crickets/cicadas and smell of hay, old stone floors, a look at the roof, inbetween the wooden structures, a place that was built organicaly, without much thought, and created a roman-like structure with the hof(?)/atrium in the middle.

This sense of calmness was what is constantly coming back to me whenever I realise I got lost in the technicalities or experiments with sound or concepts of interaction.

ISA bus (or something in that sense) definitely has problems in the HP Vectra machine, the alsaconf tool, or even when i modprobed any of the soundcard drivers for ISA cards, the console just started spurting out error messages and never stopped. Quite bizare. So i decided to try with a PCI sound card which we had to get on monday. In the meantime I created a pure data patch on my laptop that was using webcam for input to create sound and reacted on movement. No movement = no synthesis. At the very end of the night i realised that the other machine (shark4) doesn't have a USB port at all. So the patch has no use on that machine as i cannot connect the (usb) webcam on it. On monday cym brought/bought pci soundcards from the used/pc shop and another usb webcam (until then i used hers).  PCI soundcard worked immediately on the HPVectra (9EUR@166mhz) - shark5 - box. Once I put the new (webcam patch) on it, fiddled and struggled with pdp installation that didn't work because the new pure data (0.40) breaks the pdp somewhat, i finally tried it only to realise the machine is just too slow to handle (this?) usb webcam input... so that patch can be thrown away.

back to the sketching board, they would say.


i quickly made another patch that uses microphone input to detect sounds and peaks to trigger sound synthesis which is a simple sum of about 6 oscilators, sawtooth oscilators and couple of noise generators, with another two or three low pass filters. at the end is a delay line with a bit of feedback. the micinput (the surrounding noise, movement, talking, clapping, sound of the aeroplane) controls some kind of gate that opens or closes the sound. no input, no sound. this worked somewhat ok on the vectra/shark5, so i proceed with tweaking it and at the end of the day finally moved from the 'hotel' to wd8 farmhouse and put it in the wardrobe, turn it on, and i'm not so sure how i feel about it, but doubt seems to be part of the process.

cym provided a lot of valuable feedback and ideas and i was listening and trying things out and also thinking about the water drips that would trigger sounds.

so it's a typical case of not really being sure exactly what to do, trying number of things out and then arriving at something that simply reflects this process. a sum of technical difficulties (3 days of installing linux and fighting with hardware), experiments according to the limitations, thinking, reflecting, trying different approaches...

yesterday night i nevertheless made another patch on shark4 machine (200mhz) that  is non-interactive because after much trying i just couldn't make full duplex (input & output) on the card working. either i had input and no output, or output and no input from the sound card. so today i will add shark4 next to shark5 and see how these layers interact. one of the final things i want to do also today is to reverse the idea no movement no sound into movement no sound (=no movement - sound).


it's also important to say that we (cym, eva and me) went for a nice trip to see 'die weltmachine', in the near village. we also visited belinda, who is making a pig in wd8, and i was fascinated by their a-bit-hippy house full of handmade things, and being in line with the stories about the local witches' group. ;-)


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