pall thayer : work | about pall thayer
collection:2003 | date added:2003-05-09 | enter project
aesthetics, interactive, online, networked, interface, score, rhythmic, atmospheres, abstraction, instrumentISJS is my most recent effort at creating abstract visual art that borrows from the aesthetic qualities of music. I think that the majority of the general public finds it much easier to grasp the aesthetic qualities of instrumental music than visual abstract work. At least I would fall into that category. I'm seldom emotionally moved by visual artwork in the same way that music moves me. So in general, most of my work is about utilizing sound and/or music in a visual context. I'm a visual artist, not a musician, therefore the visual part of my work is always more important and relative to my aims than the audible part.
Initially the work seems difficult, but once you click on listen and the real media player kicks in this is a lot of fun and uses quite a complex system.
Would you like to tell us how you made the piece?
The main components of the piece are a Pure-Data patch, a Flash file, a few PHP scripts and an Icecast MP3 server. The PD patch basically looks like a Max/MSP patch but it's alot messier because you can't segment cords and hide objects on locking. But it's got a metronome with variable speed that can be controlled from the web page. It has two 8 step sequencers that run between each other. So first it plays note1 from seq1 then note1 from seq2 then note2 from seq1 and so on. The first sequencer sounds like a regular short sine wave with a sharp attack and slow release but it runs through a delay mechanism that runs at a certain percentage of the metronome speed. The second sequencer on the other hand, goes through a mess of oscilators and phasors and sounds really weird. Sort of spacy background stuff. There's also a monophonic synthesizer with portomento and finally a randomly controlled effects generator that also goes through a mess of oscilators and phasors and ramps up or down from the previous note. It has a single netreceive object that accepts the incoming messages from the webpage and routes them accordingly. All of the audio is then sent to the way cool shoutcast~ object from Olaf Matthes which streams it as MP3 to the Icecast server. The web page is two frames. I had to do it this way so that I could update the interface after the user submits his info without updating the page containing the flash file. The interface is just a couple of plain old html forms with a php scripts for the actions. The php script opens a socket to the netreceive object in the PD patch and feeds the info there. At the same time, it writes the info to a text file that the flash file reads from periodically. The Flash file consists of a bunch of movieclips on the stage that move around. The movie clips all contain basic shapes (square, circle, triangle) in the primary colors. The variables that the movie receives form the webpage change the position, rotation and transparency of the clips. The interaction of the clips is capable of creating all the basic elements of visual composition; mixed colors, points, lines, fields, etc. The whole thing is running on a single Linux box with a 400 mhz celeron cpu. There is a bit of delay between the user submitting changes and then hearing the difference. This is appears to be due to the MP3 encoding.
collection:2002 | date added:2002-08-28 | enter project