This logbook regards the production time of MUU into an interactive audiovisual-album. It is mostly technical but gives an insight into my process and how I adapted. Please take a look at the full project timeline first.
There is unseen things to be found below - although you can not see them, they are there - can you find them all?
Can´t find anything? Try to click through the text!
I had decided to record the electromagnetic sounds of different objects at different stations around the Ringbahn and set a limit of 12 to the recorded objects. I still wanted to make an audiovisual performance from the material I would collect.
1. I drove around with the 41 line of the Ringbahn and recorded a full cycle - 1hour of video and recorded electromagnetism with the Ether. My camera and the Ether were fixed on the window of the train, in order to choose a frame.
2. I was looking for objects with unusual electromagnetic sounds at different stations. I recorded the videos and electromagnetic sounds of: a ticket machine at Gesundbrunnen, a Snack machine at Prenzlauer Allee and a Foto Box at Landsberger Allee
3. Again I was looking for interesting sounds and recorded: a traffic light for blind people at Ostkreuz, trees (yes -trees, very existing. as I have found out that even the trees emit the electromagnetic waves). At Treptower Park and a car park barrier at the Neukölln station. I was very surprised that when I attached the Ether to the tree, that I could hear polish voices. Normally the Ether should be an anti radio, and thus I should not find any voices in the first place. After reflecting on this, I came to the conclusion that the trees act as an antenna but also as a special filter of the waves passing through them. The Treptower Park has a huge Russian memorial, and then to hear the polish voices (which I confused for Russian first, sorry) created an exciting atmosphere for me.
4. Again I was looking for further interesting sounds and recorded: a post/parcel box at Südkreuz, an electric street box at Schöneberg and an unknown use weird looking one at Hohenzollerndamm.
5. Again - looking for interesting electromagnetism - I have recorded: ceiling lamps at Westkreuz, an elevator stair at West and a memorial for the deportation of Jews which sounded very interesting as it is a very large metal sculpture, which receives a lot of electromagnetism.
6. I drove another full cycle, this time with the 42 line (anti-clockwise), and recorded 1hour of electromagnetism and video form the window. This time the perspective is outwards of the ring (opposite to 41 where the perspective is inwards.
7. I created a library for video and audio materials. It contains the following videos: 1hour footage going clockwise around the Ringbahn and footage of the 12 individual stops with their respective artifacts. It also contains audio recorded with the electromagnetic recorder (Ether) for each video in full length (or longer).
8. I have worked on initial ideas on how to organize sound and have experimented with said material inside Ableton (the program which I use to alter and perform with sound).
9. I have worked on my webpage, which I have chosen as the platform of presentation. The initial page design has been reworked to match the aesthetic of my current project more, and I have greatly increased the webpages speed and usability.
10. I transferred the recordings to a new library in order to have more overview. Categorized the names of the recordings: two folders - one for audio and one for video. I have decided to use Ableton and vdmx5 as the programs for the performance for video and audio, respectively, and created templates in both programs to import the media.
11. Cutting 1-hour clip into different parts (video of 41 clockwise). Arranging these parts in premiere to get an overview of the visual dramaturgy of the material.
12. Importing audio into Ableton to work on sound ideas. I played around with different ways of playing the audio and using different effects to get a feel for it.
13. The first rough ideas for the 12 different electromagnetic sounds for each station were created in Ableton. I need to experiment from now on to find a place where they can all meet in a musical way.
14. Working further on experimentation with the sounds and developing further ideas. Reverb seems crucial to achieving a sense of spatial dimension from the electromagnetic sound, which seems very upfront in the first place.
15. Working on updating the webpage, as it will be a major part of the presentation/CPE/pr. Objectives are to make everything more readable, make the page faster, and achieve a more coherent design.
16. Testing the involvement of other virtual instruments with electromagnetic sounds. The result was not much to my liking. From now on, I will only experiment with changing the electromagnetic sound with effects (audio tools), instead of adding other instruments or sounds.
17. Increased website speed by 70%, though using better code and better file compression. A new design with orbs has been integrated to resemble the nature of the project and my relation to nature senses and science already on the first page. The design is atom core/dimension/galaxy- solar system inspired. I have adjusted format and text on all different pages.
18. I Added a video/image - added pop up entry page menu with interactive buttons to my webpage. Further experimentation with the sounds has shown that they are very industrial and dark sounding as of now. I will look for options to achieve a tone that is more „easy listening“ too.
19. I revamped the whole website and increased the design of the website for the mobile view. It looks more coherent now - I need to work on accessibility and links.
20. I added tons of links between pages and improved the „button-click-user experience. “
21. I have realized that the website needs to be even more incorporated for the CPE. I will work on making it interactive. The idea is that I create a map that will be expanded during the next years to come through collaboration with others on it as well. Partly the thought behind this is also a very accessible form for the content to promote the idea of installing the concept as installations at train stations and public spaces in Berlin.
22. I worked more on the SEO of my webpage for google. The purpose of this is to guarantee better traffic through search engines.
23. I have defined the name of my project today: "MUU" - the Map of the Unheard Unseen. This name derives from the fact that I record electromagnetism into sound with the SOMa Ether - which is unheard. Further because I use this sound to vibrate water which forms into shapes - which are unseen. Also this related to the way I refer to electromagnetism as the "hidden world" and to my preference to highlight overlooked details of daily life.
24. I had a reflection session with Josef Grassl about my process
25. Edited the other, older project pages on my webpage and cleaned up the designs/texts a bit.
26. I have now create a background for the page where MUU will be. I will also use it as a promo picture / flyer.
27. Honestly I felt down today. So I went out and enjoyed the sun to cheer me up.
28. I created a new logo for MUU and worked further on the background image.
29. Session with Takuya Furukawa: we talked about how noise and white are very similar. Although while white is highly accepted and used in modern times for almost everything. White has become a color widely accepted - being the abundant reflection of all colors at one. It is clean and beautiful to the perception of our society. Noise is the presence of almost all frequencies at once - it is harsh, unpleasant and is perceived to befar from musical quality. This makes introducing noise into music more relevant.
1. As of the current situation and the uncertainty of whether other venues are possible to perform at, I decided to make a film of 60 minutes going around the Ringbahn-track. Also, 12 videos from every station on the map shall be released in an interactive way.
2. I have layered both 41 clockwise and 42 anti-clockwise (with 49% transparency) on top of each other: The result is that both videos blend through each other and can be seen at the same time. For 41, the camera films inwards into the ring and for 42 outward. 42 is inverted - this results in both videos running into the same direction geographically but opposite visually.
3. I reviewed the material on my projector: both videos start at the same point but eventually get out of track as the driver had to break or took a bit longer to leave a station - this gives an interesting effect. Depending on opacities and contrast of the images certain elements of 41 and others from 42 are seen at the same time. The result is a dreamlike effect.
4. I started to improve my own big Chladni plate further. I opened the box of the guitar amplifier I am using to make it. In order to make it work I hat to detach the back of it and make some cables inside longer. I want to include images from the chladni plate on every stop at a station, where a new sound is introduced. After all the map of the unheard unseen shall display unheard (electromagnetism) and unseen (the image from the chladni plate when playing electromagnetism through it).
5. Further work on the plate. I am looking for ways to make it more leveled, so I do not have to use so much water to create a clear, rather balanced image. What I mean by this is that the speaker cone which will vibrate the metal plate on top has to be leveled. otherwise the water flows away.
6. Today I went "shopping", hunting for a suitable metal plate which can hold the water in place. I have found a pizza baking tray at last, which luckly has the right diameter of 29cm, to be housed on the speaker cone. The vibration conduction seems to work.
7. Main ideas after coaching Session with Maria Blondeel: Use time as a tool of choice, speeding down more relevant parts and speeding up to skip lesser ones.
Maria proposed to have the 12 individual routes from a stop to stop available as shorter, individual versions (2,5minutes only) + the whole 1-hour version, in order to make it more accessible.
8. I have spend the whole day reflecting on Marias idea of shortening the different tracks for better accessability but have decided against it. Although I like the thought of accessability; reating shorter tracks would go against the perfect symbol of a clock, as the album would not longer be of 60minutes length. After all I do not try to create an album for a pop radio show anyways.
9. I have created a new version of going around the full cycle for 60minutes. Fully featured as I added the first altered electromagnetic sound version. I performed it with Ableton and Push while watching a full loop on the Ringbahn (60minutes). In this way I had a performance to myself. The results are recorded and will be used as the albums 1. primary layer.
10. I added videos of every station at their respective positions in the cycle video
11. updating webpage: I integrated a model of a clock through the numbers 1-12 arranged at the frame of a big circle. Each number is now an interactive button.
12. Screening version with the stops added in between and creating musical ideas next to it
13. I have realized that an introductory text on my webpage would be nice to introduce the audience to the interactivity and give some initial information. I started writing an email to Ausland, asking for possibilities of promotion in these times.
14. I have updated the description of MUU with much more information about the tools used and more background information.
15. I was talking to a new potential a partner: the Laura Mars gallery.
16. Preparing further for call/email with Ausland - updating the trailer
17. More work on the trailer - creating Instagram pr post and working on the promo webpage -uploaded the trailer to youtube
18. Instagram post. Prepared talk to Ausland on the phone.
19. New possibility of Laura mars gallery as a partner. Talk to Marie. Talk to Ausland will be on hold for now.
20. I had a little test audience screening: presenting the current state of the project to Chris Dreier and Frank Lohmeyer - feedback
21. Working on Instagram post promos. 1. promo post on Instagram
22. I made the decision that I will ad a list of materials to the MUU page, such as a 1hour video of the whole cycle with line 41 and one hour of 42 + 12 different objects around 30sec. + the electromagnetic sounds recorded with it. Reworking a new version of the full cycle and send it to Maria and Marie for feedback. 2.Post on Instagram.
23. I was reworking different information texts on the webpage - also for Instagram post purposes, for the tuning in with iArts as well)
24. I performed Mix 2 with my modular synthesizer. I sat in front of the video layers playing for one hour again and sampled the respective electromagnetical sounds when I arrived at the stations. I then used the synthesizer to change the sounds live through the alteration capabilites of the instrument. This resulted in musical pieces of repetition and "broken melodies".
25. I have started a complete mastering process to adjust the levels of audio. I am mixing the electromagnetic audio of 41(1hour) with the original sounds (such as announcements of the next station). Mix 1 performed with Ableton and Push. Mix 2 made yesterday with my modular synthesizer. The sound of all 12 different objects from their respective station. I made 28 min of progress the rest I will continue tomorrow.
26. I continued with the mastering. I created a further improved version with better contrast and interaction of the layers.
27. The feedback from Maria was very positive; she suggested to change fonts on the page to improve readability and make the design even more coherent.
28. I updated the clock time based buttons and added NESW categories like from a compass to them. N(otation) indicating the number on the clock and the Kilometer position of the related station. E(ntity) will be the name of the track. S(pace) the location/station where it was recorded. W(idth) the time code from and to the track is inside the whole album time of 60:00 minutes.
29. After listening through the final audio again I reflected and named the different tracks (Added under Entity): 12: Ticket Machine, 1: Snack Machine, 2: Foto Fix, 3 Blind Traffic, 4: Polish Trees, 5: Newcologne Barrier, 6: Yellow Eye, 7: PrettyE Box, 8: Junction Case, 9: Aloft Lamps 10: We-I-end stairs, 11: Admonish Once
30. Recording of the 12 sounds from each station into video form with the Chladni plate. integrating these 12 videos into the full cycle version (Full album)
31. Working on website integrated instructions and changed text design to hover.
1. Communicating with Zwitschermaschine - an event space involved with music etc.
integrating 12 stations Chladni videos into webpage popup orbs for each station
2. Check through day: I test viewed everything again (3 times), to check if there have been any mistakes in my editing.
3. I have reworked the texts on the MUU page, checking for spelling mistakes and others to improve readability. I have implemented the Comment section and mailing list possibilities.
4. uploaded test version of MUU to youtube to figure out the quality and upload times.
5. Uploaded a final version with updated contrast to youtube. Created the links on the page to the video. (4 hours export time + 4 hours upload time)
6. Launch day of the official MUU page (rubenbass.com/muu)