Room Symfonies – for virtual ensembles and feedback tones (2020)

Building on the feedback concepts I developed in ‘Close Harmonies‘, Room Symphonies are soundscapes generated in realtime by a feedback system that mixes the sound of pure feedback tones with the rich sound world of acoustic instruments. Feedback between speakers and microphones triggers samples of instrumental sounds through a pitch and loudness tracking system. These samples, in turn, force the system to search for new feedback frequencies, creating a feedback loop with continuously changing combinations and harmonic variations. Each Room Symphony is built on a fixed set of feedback rules and a specific ensemble of instrumental sounds producing a more or less musically coherent, but also highly improvisational behavior.

Despite the non-human nature of the musical events and interactions, a sense of agency is created through the interaction with room acoustics and the ‘aura’ of instrumental sounds that bear the stamp of human effort. The installation is sensitive to the physical presence of the listener, changes in the position of the microphone or speakers and sounds in the room. Future versions may include the possibility to interact with a live musician.

Below are some excerpts from recordings of test-runs with distinct instrumental sets and interaction rules. The idea is that combinations of these can be used to create ‘feedback symphonies’ with continuous alternation of characters. The excerpts below are raw materials with no editing and some glitches caused by real-time calculation processes pushing my laptop to the limits. The used samples are part of the ‘Ircam Solo Instruments’ sound library. Low frequencies, please listen with headphones.

Test Run – drones & long notes (mixed ensemble): flutes, violin, viola, clarinet, French horn, cello

Test Run – pulses & plucked sounds: double bass, cello, harp, guitar

Test Run – brass sounds

%d bloggers liken dit: