Artist Andy Thomas recently shared a montage of new sound art pieces titled Synthetic Nature that shows his beautifully bizarre digital sculptures as they move in response to audio. The virtual organisms are constructed using a host of software (3ds Max, Realflow, Quantum force, Fume fx, Krakatoa, Frost, etc.), with the end result being ‘programs’ that visually react to an array of audio inputs. Different frequencies or tones cause the piece to behave in varying ways based on Thomas’ own manipulated audio of flora and fauna recorded around Australia. You can see more of his experiments on Vimeo, and he also creates wild digital images available as prints on RedBubble.
The soothing sounds of nature have never been easier to hear after a group of interior architecture students from the Estonian Academy of Arts decided to infiltrate a nearby forest with three giant wooden microphones. The sound-amplifying installation is near RMK’s pähni nature centre, an area where one can currently rest within the grooves of one of three megaphones to intently listen to the detailed rustling of leaves or chirping of birds both near and far.
Valdur Mikita, a writer who has often covered the way Estonian culture is tied to the 51% of forests that comprise it said, “It’s a place to listen, to browse the audible book of nature – there hasn’t really been a place like that in Estonia before.”
According to interior architect Hannes Praks the three-metre diameter megaphones will act as a “bandstand” for the environment around it. “We’ll be placing the three megaphones at such a distance and at a suitable angle, so at the centre of the installation, sound feed from all three directions should create a unique merged surround sound effect,” said Praks.
The structures will not only be available for solo meditation, but also serve as stages for intimate events and protective structures for spending the night in the woods—which in this forest you can do for free. (via Mental Floss)
Produced as a part of The Connected Series, Hearing Colors, is a short film that explores the life of Neil Harbisson, a man who was born with achromatopsia that leaves 1 in 30,000 completely colorblind. Through an antenna-like object implanted into the back of his head, Harbisson is able to gain a comprehension of the colors around him by hearing distinct sounds.
Harbisson completely embraces the unusual technology and openly refers to himself as a cyborg. “I don’t feel that I am using technology. I don’t feel that I am wearing technology. I feel that I am technology,” Harbisson explains. “I feel no difference between the software and my brain.”
The five minute film, shot in black and white, gives the audience a sense of Harbisson’s artificially created one, letting us peer into how he sees humans, cities, and everyday life.
Oh wow, this is a treat. The same people behind this experimental drumming video in 2013, Touché Videoproduktion Creative, just released a similar music video featuring a song written and performed by Joachim Müllner. The piece was recorded in 15 different locations and then stitched together only with video editing. All the sounds you hear were recorded on location. Stick with it even after the 1:00 mark, it gets more and more amazing. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)
Soundweaving is a recent project by Hungarian design student Zsanett Szirmay that turns patterns used in traditional folk embroidery into music by translating them into laser-cut punch cards fed through a custom music box. The project was partially inspired by actual paper cards used in some weaving looms to easily reproduce patterns for various textiles. Szirmay collaborated with musician and composer Bálint Tárkány-Kovács who helped with audio mapping and the development of each track. Soundweaving was on view as part of Vienna Design Week at MOME Laboratory through last week, and you can see much more over on Dezeen. I’ve had the video above playing in the background for the last 20 minutes or so, it’s surprisingly enjoyable, especially if you’re into Steve Reich or Philip Glass.
In this surprisingly interesting video from Jerobeam Fenderson we watch (and listen) as he explains how to draw images using the visualizations of sound waves on an old analog Tektronix oscilloscope. To be clear: the images you’re seeing here are not being animated through software, instead Fenderson creates waveforms (sounds) using his computer, and those sound waves LOOK LIKE THIS when fed into an oscilloscope. Suffice to say there’s lots of math involved, and it’s all a little bit over my head, but luckily he answers some questions over on his blog about how it all works. Make sure to watch through to the end.
With a host of audio-based science experiments from sine waves blasting through streams of water, to visualizations of audio frequencies using sand, and sound waves traveling through flammable gas, this new video by Nigel Stanford has it all. Titled Cymatics, the music video was created for the first single from his new album, Solar Echoes. If you want to learn more about the science, there’s plenty of behind-the-scenes footage with explanation behind each experiment on his Vimeo channel. (via Vimeo Staff Picks)