piece I wanted a visual representation as well as an auditory
one. I used the piano sound and animated the keyboard (using
GarageBand, Photoshop and Final Cut Pro) because a keyboard
is iconic; as a visual it can call up previously established
patterns and associations, particularly if you've ever played
a piano at all. And it's linear and easier to understand. So
along with the sound representations of Pi, there is also
an evoked kinesthetic representation in many of us (studies
have shown that if you think about playing the piano, electrical
impulses register in the the muscles of your hands). I'd venture
to guess that using oboe finger patterns and an oboe graphic
would not be as interesting.
interested in how these visual and auditory elements combine
and how difficult it is to create a situation where they are
equal, where one is not dominant over the other. In several
of my installation pieces I have had to "dial back"
one or the other so both were noticed, not just one. For example,
in the Sonified Weather Installation,
shown elsewhere on this site, I had to decrease the color saturation
of the rain drops and clouds that were projected on the floor
of the gallery. Even at that, the visual element was too
compelling for some viewers, they really didn't pay much attention
to the "Sonified Weather".
another example. The image above is a gallery view of a floor
mounted, 5 foot by 10 foot "city" I recently made
mostly out of old circuit boards that I collected over the past
15 years. The city is called Henryville,
after the folk song John Henry, because the theme is obsolescence
and the displacement of labor by machines. Under the piece are
5 speakers and a 20 minute long, looped sound narrative played
in surround sound. At one point in the installation, using an
aerial video projector, I projected onto the piece a movie I
had made of storm clouds, simulating clouds and their shadows
passing over Henryville.
Very cool I thought! Trouble was, when the clouds were added
the sound narrative almost became background noise. So I projected
it on the wall behind Henryville. Even worse balance. I dialed
it back, and didn't us the storm video at all. It turned out
to be a good decision, especially since the piece was intended
to be a "balanced" piece from it's inception.