Sound Installations

By Haley Mitcham

Crash and Turn

record player

Overview:

For this project, I wanted to use two items (drum cymbals and a record player)
that are typically used to create music, to instead create sound.

Description:

Viewers will have an opportunity to choose a cymbal from the collection,
place it onto the record player, and give it a spin!
Each cymbal will have a different sound, dependent on the weight of the metal, the depth and spacing of the grooves, and any other
natural bumps or grooves the cymbal possesses.

Intention:

It was my hope and intention that, through listening and experiencing
my sound installation that viewers will be inspired to view music as sound, and sound as music.

Influences:

For this project, I was inspired by a pile of drum cymbals that were no longer being used. While staring at the pile, I realized
that they looked like records, and wondered what they would sound like if they were played as such.
While touring the installation space, I was also inspired by the natural environment of the furniture consignment store and
felt that this installation would fit in nicely with the space provided.

Methodology:

This sound installation is simple, incorporating items
that potential viewers are already familiar with.
The collection of the cymbals and the turn table are all that this installation requires, aside from a working power source.
The most difficult part of this installation is being able to facillitate easy listening, as the space will be shared with many other projects.

Outcomes:

This project was overall successful, and leaves a lot of
opportunity for growing in the future. The greatest challenges were
creating a needle that was durable enough to play on the cymbals, and
making considerations for easy listening.

Self Reflection:

This project was a lot of fun to work on, and would be fun to grow.
This installation could be done again in the future, perhaps with multiple
turntables going at the same time. I would also be interested in finding a larger
turntable, to find out what other, larger cymbals would sound like while being played.

Space Escape

spaceship

Overview:

For this project, I was inspired by the "Alien Encounters" theme.
I used a variety of sci-fi sounds in an attempt to tell an auditory
story of someone who is trying to find their way off of an alien spaceship.

Description:

For this project, I used garageband v.5 to help tell the story.
I used a variety of different sound effects and loops to create what I thought the ambient sound would be on an alien spaceship.
I used additional sound effects to give the effect of someone walking around, trying to find their way out through a couple different doors.
I then tried to give the impression of chase through using alarms, different computer beeps, alien garble, shooting sounds,
and of course, the great departure!

Intention:

It was my hope and intention that, through listening, the user will
be able to hear the story of someone who is trying to find their way off of an alien spaceship.

Influences:

For this project, I was inspired by the "Alien Encounters" theme.
I wanted the sounds to be easily recognizable to easier tell my story, and therefore tried to mirror them off of soundscapes that
I have heard in sci-fi movies and videogames.

Methodology:

This project was made entirely within garageband v.5.
Carefully selected sound effects were layered and staggered in an attempt to create a sound environment.
The most difficult challenge was properly layering the different sound effects so that they would not sound too clunky.
I also had difficulty making the footsteps stand out from the other sounds in the story. To remedy this, I increased the volume
of the footsteps effect and lowered the volume of the other effects. I have also decided to further practice my coding skills
in creating this page with html and css.

Outcomes:

For this project, I feel that I was able to more or less
accomplish telling a story through sound. I believe that through listening, the user is able to follow the character as
they move through the spaceship and make their rapid escape. In the future, I think it would be interesting to elaborate
on this story by incorporating more sound effects, possibly those from the NASA archives.

Self Reflection:

Even though I do feel that I was successful in telling my story
through audio, I would have liked to incorporate more sound effects, and actual sounds from space. I also think that, through lengthening
the audio track, there would be greater opportunity to create more audible scenarios for the character. I also feel that through more practice, better
and smoother sound transitions and layering could be achieved and beneficial.