Epismatic Sounds

One aspect of Telematic performance is to substantiate the listener’s sense of  locality (beingness) with the introduction of sounds that are physically distant.  Epismatic sounds (epi- as in near, or surrounding) works the other way around, by sampling the familiar sound of our local environment (park, office, bar, under the bridge, hospital hall way), and transforming it, then spitting it back out to the sourced-environment.

 

The idea of juxtaposing an original sound environment with that which is similar but transformed, gets its cue from the concept of Uncanny Valley, when something similar to but noticeably different from our rarely-challenged sense of locality is introduced, we are often forced to confront our cognitive mechanism, which works in similar manner to Brecht's alienation effect.

 

In practice, Epismatic Sounds is a process of transforming the familiar sound of the familiar environment into a foreign, unfamiliar sound.  Generated sounds are first analyzed for its Site-specific characters (via acoustic research), then processed through digital synthesis. The resulting uncanny feeling hopefully engages and challenges us to confront our accepted reality.

Under the hood, it is a Max patch that continuously records, stores, and re-samples the room's sound at various points in it's immediate history (from few hours ago to a few seconds ago) for the duration of the installation.  Multiple synthesis techniques are sparingly applied to the source material and are morphed and mixed using weighted probability.  Ultimately it is an informational-feedback loop between the program and the environment.

Epismatic Sounds - Bryant Park version - Nao Guji
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Epismatic Sounds @ H0L0