Yesterday I had a tutorial With Mark after he saw me experimenting with the psychedelic liquid light patterns. He asked me what I wanted to do with them. I explained how I wanted the oil floating on the projector to be manipulated by deep, vibrating frequencies from a sub woofer or powerful speaker.
Mark then gave me the details of some work to look at.
Martin Klimas is a photographer who’s past work has explored the use of different sound frequencies to make colored liquids jump and move in different ways.
Here are some images of his work ‘What does Music Look Like’.
Shot at a very high shutter speed Klimas is able to catch some wonderful shots of when the speaker causes the paint to jump, forming great patterns and shades of color. The background is black causing a high contrast and lets the colours really speak for themselves.
You can see that Klimas has considered what colours to use here. He has thought about colour theory. The contrasting reds and blues.comne together in the middle to form brilliant shades of purple and pink.
What I love about this is how Klimas uses sound to give something life for a split second. Then it’s gone and his camera captured the event.
This technique was captured on film as an advertisement for a Canon printer, the ad is below.
Seeing these pieces of work made me think about different ways I could make my liquid light show interact with music.
The above video is my first experimentation with Liquid Light. It was fun and messy and I encountered a few problems.
So After getting my hands on the projector I mixed different colour food colouring with water.
I had to protect the space around me from stains as it was a messy job and I’d of been killed if it went on my parents carpet.
Here’s a nice shot.
I’ve just ordered some new colours of food colouring now as well so there will be a more diverse range.
I learnt very early on that the coloured water and oil would wreck the projector if i was not carefull. It began to leak into the internal light box from the tiny gaps between the surface glass.
To counter this I had to wrap cling film around the exposed glass so it covered the gaps. I also had to give the light box and insides a good clean.
It was good for me to practice this early, I picked up on small things like the wrong colour to water ratios really early and so could alter them to be more vibrant.
Something I thought was really effective was how the projections looked when cast on a plain sofa. This got me thinking about how artist Liz West places her colorful artworks in environments that would usually be quite dull on their own. I thought that when it was projected on the sofa became so much more interesting. The curves in the material gave a great effect when oils from the projection moved on them. It looked as though they were dripping down the creases of the material. It was animated and appeared to be alive.
This also got me thinking about what else i could project my liquid light on that wasn’t just a plain wall or screen. I like the feeling I get from West’s work, how she turns a dull dark place into something beautiful. I want to be able to do something like this for my final major project using techniques such as the liquid light show to achieve this. Mark suggested that I could transform an unsettling urban environment such as an underpass into a pop up installation of light and sound in town. I like this idea quite a lot, I like dark, urban environments. I like how raw and menacing somewhere like an underpass at night can feel. I also love the idea of a contrast to this, bringing lights into this space that when working in harmony with some music will create a total juxtaposition within the environment.
Yesterday I came into uni with the intention to finalise a track that I had been working on for the last few days. I wanted to display more than just one of my tracks in my final piece for this unit but I also wanted the other tracks to complement ‘snakehead’.
I went into the cave and hooked up two M-Audio speakers so I could have it nice and loud with no distractions. It also gave me a good idea of how the low, mid and high frequencies would sound through some different sets of speakers as in the past I have been dissapointed with how they sound through others. (I usually produce on some fairly powerful headphones and found that when I listened back to the music on some different speakers that the bass value was not as striking.
Above is the track I finalised, ‘Outer Body’. I’ve already got some good feedback from people who have found it on soundcloud. I made the synth notes in the tune have a fairly high reverb level too them as I think this creates an immersive, ethereal effect through the music. which will complement my choices of colour such as purples and blues.
The other day I had a tutorial with Lucy who was talking about my thought process when it came to thinking about the colour of my lights. She told me to look at the work of an artist called Liz West.
I went on her website and was really impressed how she manages to make such striking and vibrant light installations in spaces that are often quite cold and bare.
Here’s some photo’s from an installation West created called ‘tempo’ that I really like.
West’s use of a colour spectrum with the flourescent tubes creates such a striking centre piece in a sparse cold looking environment.
The light it casts around the rest of the room is great.
West also has an instillation called ‘Shifting Luminosity’ that uses LED’s in a simple yet effective way. The thing I really like about this is how the LED bulbs are facing away from a viewer. This draws an audiences attention away from the sources of light and towards the colours they cast in the room. The colours West picks also complement each other really well to create an dream like environment.
Below are some more works from West that display her knowledge of colour theory.
The Red Box
Here it is. The Box from Behringer that will allow me to export and mix down my tracks into the 5.1 surround sound format. After a lot of fiddling around and some help from Jordan yesterday I finally got this running. It runs through a firewire only at the moment which is a bit annoying and dumb in my opinion. However when we set it up I was able to play my track in audition through the speaker we had connected.
Audition and my track ‘snakehead’
Then I started to add more speakers. The box has 8 inputs and 8 outputs on the back and you have to assign individual audio tracks in Audition to these outputs.
I Hooked up one of Phil’s new speakers to be dedicated to the percussion tracks. This was really nice because the drum patterns in ‘snakehead’ use a lot of 808 type drums that have a very bass heavy feel to them.
Not a beast
Then i hooked up two of DMP’s laptop speakers just to test as well and had one synth running through each to give a more 3D effect.
You are also able to pan what part of a speaker plays the audio in Audition. I’m going to test if Audition will allow me to record an automation. This is essentially recording changes to the dynamics of a tune or sound live to your controls and then save them through further playbacks. If this i possible then i will be able to pan certain sounds and bounce them from one speaker to the another during playback.
Today I’ve started to master my tune ‘Snakehead’ in Adobe Audition. I’ve started off by exporting each individual instrument track into the software instead of a master export. By doing this I can tweak the levels of each instrument more precisely which will lead to a cleaner more professional mix down at the end.
This is what Snakehead looks like in Audition. I’ve tried to push the Bass and drum track’s gain (Volume) up as much as i can without it clipping. (distorting if the volume is too loud)
This way the percussion and bass has a bit more punch to it.
It’s in audition where I hope to achieve the binaural experience I’ve talked about previously. Currently I’m unable to master the tune in 5.1 surround format, however Phil is going to buy some hardware with enough outputs to let me.