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  • .e 7:36 pm on November 5, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: art, audio, little kid stories, preteen   

    little kid stories 

    In 2004-2005 I helped organize an art project in the shape of a book of children’s stories. The book was then read by people who were asked to read them unprepared, as if a bedtime story in a book they’ve never read before. Those readings were then set to music written custom for each one. The final result, called “little kid stories” was released as a pdf+mp3s set, and as a webpage that unfortunately did not survive into the modern era of browsers.

    It’s now a bit past the 10 year anniversary of this project, and for the occasion I went ahead and converted the book and audio into videos using the original pdfs of the text and illustrations. They’re now available for easy watching on youtube.

    the crow

    the crow

     

    I want to say thank you to Tanya Bjork who did an absolutely incredible job creating illustrations from the text. Her digital etchings fit the mood of the stories perfectly, both in what they portray, but also in their stark raw contrast of black and white. I also want to thank all the readers who had the very difficult task of being recorded as they read a foreign text for the first time in their life, everyone who helped shape the stories by editing, and everyone who contributed seeds of the stories to me through conversations or other communication fragments.

    It’s not a perfect piece, and it’s at times difficult for me to listen either cause of imperfections of production, or simply because I’m not the same person I was 10 years ago, but it’s still a very beautiful one, and one deserves to not disappear completely.

    I also realize the inherent rudeness of asking people to experience a long form piece of video in the age of 5-second entertainment, so thank you to everyone who can take the time to experience the piece.

    The videos are available here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLs4cjJsBkUN28_oDK0m293G_UZK2csVSF.

    I hope that you can view it in a positive light.

     
  • .e 1:34 am on June 22, 2015 Permalink
    Tags: art, genetic programming, hiv, , , python   

    Requiem 32 is a series of virus genotypes, starting with a simple repeated ‘c’ which then in 31 iterations becomes the HIV genotype. Each of these iterations is then analyzed using a process based on biological DNA parsing which change the music created into a different piece, slowly more and more different from the original, until the original state is completely unrecognizable. I hope the piece gives helps create emotional understanding of the idea of a virus and how something that is so simple can have such an incredible impact, hopefully bridging the very real mental chasm between the biology of infection, and it’s effect on the infected.

    For best experience, please make your browser window as large as possible and use headphones. To interact with the piece click the circles at the top. The RNA sequence clicked on and matching sheet music will be loaded and the piano performance encoded by that RNA string will start. 1 represents a starting state, and encodes the 4 E chords with a repeated E note 4 times. Each of the other states adds a tiny bit more complexity to the virus, creating progressively more and more changes to the music piece.

    A visual guide for the RNA parsing is provided at left. The darker color is the header for a particular function, while the lighter color is the actual data processed by it. Each of the biological parsers, each represented by one color, begins at the top of the genotype, reads until it finds its starting trigger, and then starts reading while getting ready to apply a modification. Upon hitting the terminator (always “cc”), it applies the change to the music. It then keeps reading looking for a new starting condition.

    The piece involves intrinsic looping in the structure of the music, similarly to how the biological processes do not function in a vacuum, but rely on a host organism to provide context to the RNA intrusion.

    The installed piece can be found at http://miriku.com/requiem, while the source code is available at https://github.com/miriku/requiem.

    Technical notes: the majority of the code is written in python, with the exception of the text parser which creates the 30 intermediate states which is written in perl. When ran using the ./go shell command, the python code will open all rna files, processes them, then output both a color coded html file and the midi file represented. The file ‘models.py’ contains the actual structure of the music: repeated sequences that contain a chordal structure, and a melody played on top; while the file ‘driver.py’ contains the actual mechanism of parsing of the text into midi. The final mp3s and pngs of the sheet music were both created by hand and are currently not automated.

    Finally, I genuinely apologize for any possible layout issues with your particular hardware/software setup. This was designed under time constraints as a standing installation using Safari in full-screen mode, and unfortunately cross-platform compatibility was not a priority. I welcome any pull requests with improvements.

    I genuinely thank you for your time.

     
  • .e 4:50 pm on March 1, 2011 Permalink
    Tags: art, kaki king, , zoe keating   

    where i make difficult to follow comparisons between things 

    So after seeing them live, Zoë Keating is the Paul Cézanne of classical cello, and Kaki King the Henri Rousseau of classical guitar.

    Not perfect analogies, but the idea is there. Zoë understands classical music theory and that methodology, but rejects it in a conscious pursuit of what became called primitivism in painting (though i prefer Gauguin’s term ‘synthetism’). Her music is intentionally segmented, allowing for a greater tonal and stylistic contrast between the fragments, and these contrasts allow for the audio analogue to brighter colors than usually occurs in more traditional approaches. But it’s not a violent rejection, the classical is there in the background, but only as a launching board.

    Kaki King on the other hand is to some degrees the outsider. She comes across as someone who is simply playing with toys, but who’s technical ability makes that playing a spectacle. She isn’t worried about showing the edges of her ability, and by exposing them they become a part of the performance, adding a more direct connection to the audience. Where Zoë is memorized, Kaki is always in part, if not wholly, improvised. It would be a disservice to call her music fauvist as it now implies almost an inability, but she isn’t afraid to step into harsher edges of tone and music when the performance takes her there.

    Or at least that’s how a slight synaesthetic with slight apophenia sees it.

    must be a serious post, i used some capital letters.

     
    • Albertine 12:59 am on March 10, 2011 Permalink

      Thank you for introducing me to Kaki King; I love her.

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