Other Whims and Investigations

Reverberated Averages (2018) is a series of experiments inspired by artist Jim Campbell's "Illuminated Averages." It seeks to answer the question of what it would sound like if you condensed an entire recording into a single, static sonic texture.

Sonifying Unemployment in Europe Using Wavelet Analysis (2018) is an IPython notebook I created that does pretty much exactly what it sounds like it does. I know the topic might sound rather dull to the uninitiated, but there's a drama to unemployment numbers: they represent human suffering on a large scale. Wavelet analysis is similar to the process of creating spectrograms using Fourier Analysis, except it does a better job with the trade-off between time and frequency resolution. If none of this makes any sense at all, feel free to simply scroll through the pretty pictures and then listen at the bottom to what the recent recession sounds like when interpreted musically.

Harmonic Field Synthesis (2015) is an idea I had to take thousands of tiny particles—of twelve different colors, representing the twelve pitch-classes—and to mold them like sand into areas of greater and lesser density. The result is a 2-dimensional harmonic field with pitch classes congregating in different harmonic areas. See this tantalizing video demonstration:

Chorale Interpolator (2014) is an experiment with microtonally interpolating a Bach chorale. It was also just a way of exploring the Web Audio API for the first time. Give it a try—it's interactive!

Agnostic's Manifesto (2013) doesn't have anything to do with music. It's just a graphical representation of my beliefs about the nature of existence. Why is it here? Well, why are any of us here?

A Day Diffracted (2011) is a three-panel visual score in watercolors. It proceeds from left to right with the shapes and colors intended to be evocative of musical sounds and structured like a composition. The first interpretation/realization of the score was made by my friend David Kanaga. Later, I made a realization of the piece myself by creating several laptop instruments to use in an improvisatory performance with several friends.

The "Tüb" (2010) was an instrument that I co-created with Björn Erlach and Michael Wilson for our "HCI Theory and Practice" class at Stanford in Fall 2010. The goal of the instrument was to sonify water waves in a tub, thereby combined the joys of music-making and bathtime:

This is really old and embarrassing.

We accomplished the sonification process as follows: circular scans were taken of the images coming from the webcam, and the brightness values of the pixels were mapped onto a wave table, creating the shimmering sound that you hear. Since waves on the surface of the water created shadows on the tub, the sonic result was truly a sonification of the waves made in the water. We also threw in some samples whose density and intensity is based on the turbulence in the tub at any given time.

See the paper that we wrote for further details.