FOR

THE

BIRDS

Concept by Sohaila Mosbeh

2020

At a second glance, harmony can find order in chaos.

 Inspiration  

In 1992 Jim Wilson slowed down a recording of crickets, that revealed the piece below called "God's Chorus of Crickets". Showing that harmony exists within nature if one takes a moment to really listen. Upon listening to this piece more two questions arose, firstly how were these melodic sounds were achieved just by slowing down the recordings? Second Were there any human tampering with the recordings?

Inspired by Jim Wilson's piece , I decided to test this technique myself by using bird recordings from Cornell's lab of ornithology. Which has thousands of archived bird recordings, since most bird calls have there own melodic chirps. I thought slowing it down and mixing it with other sounds might  have fascinating results.

 Audio Interaction & Design 

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Upon further researching Jim Wilson's piece, there seems to be many speculations of how it was truly created. The true nature in fact might have more human manipulation than it was first though out to be. Possible pitch variation might have been done to produce the melodic varieties that was heard before. I started to experiment with that theory using bird recordings, the first step was creating a sketch code in P5.js that can manipulate the speed of the recordings as well as having the option to jump into different points of that recording.

Tempo

Pan

Tempo

Pan

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Upon further researching Jim Wilson's piece, there seems to be many speculations of how it was truly created. The true nature in fact might have more human manipulation than it was first though out to be. Possible pitch variation might have been done to produce the melodic varieties that was heard before. I started to experiment with that theory using bird recordings, the first step was creating a sketch code in P5.js that can manipulate the speed of the recordings as well as having the option to jump into different points of that recording.

Tempo

Pan

Tempo

Pan

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How can this real time sound manipulation be expressed using the body? I found the answer within an electrical drum set. Taking apart the set and using it a MIDI controller, that can manipulate sound by hitting the pads or by shaking the hit hats to play different sound recordings. Other physical interaction with the set can also add reverb as well as a panning effect.

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For an alternative usage of the drum set, I let the computer self generate the sounds based on an L system pattern. In that sense this method can be used as a live looping instrument.

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Visual Moodboard 

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Demo with visuals

Softwares used:

Max/msp

Ableton Live

P5.js

Final 

Visual & Musical Performance.

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Due to COVID this project was created in middle of the pandemic, and the final piece was performed live over zoom.

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