Saturday, March 26, 2016

for hyde park

This is a compilation of synth improvisations played with field recordings I've made from Hyde Park 2010-2012. I'm exploring performance set ups where I do not need to work from my laptop during performances. I'd like to step away from using my laptop temporarily for artistic, financial and security reasons. 

I've been exploring analog synthesizers and improvising with them since January of this year. Last year I was able to buy a Korg LittleBits synth kit from a radio shack that was going out of business. My initial interest was exploring ways I can incorporate this kit in installations with its clicks, drones and rhythms. My inspiration for these installations center around the work of Rolf Julius and African and Afro Caribbean Altars. 

Time passed and I didn't have a studio space anymore so I shelved that idea. However I was still listening and thinking about how I wanted my work to sound. An important thing to think about! I was not happy with how I was manipulating my samples on my computer. I wasn't able to use the midi controllers the way I wanted in a live situation and when I did i wasn't happy with the range of sounds I was getting from my mangled samples. So I experimented with my synth kit and found that the synths were easier and more fun to control and improvise with my field recording samples. 

At this point I should probably shed some light on the "in to the breaks" quote and how it fits in with my interest in dub processing and black subjectivity. The key term in the above quote is slippage. You're between nodes of time standing still and moving ahead. Slipping between being on beat or off.  I have used the sounds and processes of both dub and the many glitch genres that have popped up in art and music as a point of departure from the idea of slipping in to the breaks. 

But what about black subjectivity? Is my work about race? As far as black subjectivity goes, I think there is a slippage between an awareness of self and DuBois' double consciousness. The uses of echo, delay and other technology by reggae producers like King Tubby exemplify this idea that consciousness, identity and memory are fluid and synchronic. Bringing this back to my work. My field recordings (and sound walks) can be seen as performances that are then remixed and re-presented. Meaning that there is no fixed way of representing those actions. More on this later. 

One more thing. Is my work about race? Not all the time but I have to be conscious of place, memory and identity and how that affects race, gender and sexuality as I have to work with others who may not be like myself. More on this later.

For these sessions, I used arturia's microbrute analog synth, korg little bits synth kit, korg monotron delay, sony pcm m-10 and a behringer eurorack 602A mixer

Monday, March 14, 2016

'scapes - videos

'scapes from normanwlong on Vimeo.

‘scapes incorporates the sound and cultural landscape of the West Loop and Union Park in Chicago to present an improvised experience and installation. I am making strange the very familiar via process field recording, sound-walks, mapping, and audio/visual processing. By incorporating glitch and dub technology into my objects, video, and sound components sourced from the area, I am “versioning” the West Loop, offering an alternate way of moving through personal and public space.

spectroscape from normanwlong on Vimeo.

Spectroscape, 2015
Video from spectroscope that reads chemicals in the air, sound is sourced from reader that converts spectra to sound.

Mapping , 2015
Glitched maps of Norman’s studio and the surrounding neighborhood