Artist Statement

For this final project. I created a narrative video from the perspective not usually seen, from the view of my cat. I am very interested in how she sees things compared to how I see things. There are many factors that make this subject interesting. For example, the height difference, the way she walks and sways which alters the camera. All of the footage that I shot was filmed by attaching my camera to my cat, and leaving it recording for long periods of time. I then proceeded to mesh the footage together and make a nice flow with smooth transitions. The music that I added to the video was written and recorded by one of my friends. Its originality and unique sound goes well with the upbeat attitude and flow of my video. My hope with this final project is to give the viewer an inside look at an interesting perspective on life to create and emotional and inquisitive connection.

Final Project Video

For my final project, I want to shoot a video that falls under the category of a video diary. But I want my video to be shot from the perspective, of my cat. The perspective of the video will be from a cats point of view, to the point. I will follow her around and hold a camera slightly in front of her, as if it were attached to her head. I might even go so far as to attach a harness to her, and leave my phone recording all day, even when I am not home, so that I can see what she does when I am gone. I want the video to be sped up, so that I am able to get a full days worth of activities into a 5-6 minute video. This will give the viewer a good look from another creatures point of view, and allow them to see things they might not be able to from their normal view. Because the video will be sped up, the sounds won’t be able to be heard at the right speed, so I will be recording some kind of music for the background that I play myself. I want the music to be fun and exciting, that way it keeps the viewers attention throughout the whole piece. I don’t want the viewer to become bored and decide they want to stop watching halfway through.

My project in a nutshell revoles around this idea of repetition and the mundane, like all of my work this semester in my other studios. Because my cat is limited to where she is able to go, there will be many times in the video when she merely decides to sleep for hours, or go into the same rooms over and over again, because her lifestyle in my apartment is currently limited. The most exciting part about this project will be finding a way to attach my camera to my cat, in a way that it can continually record all day, while also not being a burden to her to the point where she knocks it off, or something like that. Figuring out a way to execute my idea is more than half of the project, as well as the most fun. I have never attempted to do anything like this before, so seeing the resulting film will be exciting.

I have never made a video, outside of design two, for an of my other projects before, or even outside of school. I do not know much about film or filmmaking, but the concept I am shooting for seems to be difficult enough to where it will give me a challenge and keep me interested in my project, rather than filming something and getting bored halfway through. Along with my own music added to the background that I personally make, which is also something I have never done before, will definitely be a challenge but it will merely be one more aspect of the project that connects me to my own work personally.

Final Project

Create a moving image piece with audio approximately 5 minutes in length. All content must be original. The final project should be turned in as an h.264. This project may take the form of a video diary/self portrait, a narrative, an experimental exploration of the video medium, a documentary, an abstract animation, a music video/montage (as long as you create the music), an attempt to deconstruct the language of cinema, a formal study in the image-making possibilities of the camera, the utilization of the cameras gaze as an opportunity for an empowered performance, or a multitude of other possible cinematic forms. You may NOT use found footage, or found sound for this project. I define this as footage not captured by your camera (or phone), and audio not recorded by your microphone (or phone). It could be helpful to draw inspiration from your primary art practice or major area of study for this project. Conversely, you may have an interest that you haven’t been able to explore in your area of focus that this project will facilitate. What are you passionate about? How can you explore and express this interest with the tools we have learned this semester? A 500-word project proposal is due on the class blog by April 3rd. We will not meet for class on April 8th, but you will need to use this time to work on your projects (the cvad lab is open during this time and all of the computers have the software we have covered in this class). A “rough cut” of your project is due on April 10th. By “rough cut” I mean that you have begun to edit your footage by this point, and I will view and listen to what you have. The final project is due on April 22nd.

Project 4: Audio Composition

Create a 3-5 minute narrative auditory composition without using intelligible speech or music. For this project, I recommend that you record your own source sounds, rather than finding them online. A narrative could mean that you are arranging recognizable sounds in order to tell a story. “Narrative” could also denote creating a composition of sounds that might be significantly altered or manipulated (using equalization, effects, etc.), but the arrangement of sounds, their dynamic and textural qualities work together to create a whole that suggests a beginning, middle, and an end. Maybe you are creating the sounds for a film that doesn’t exist. This project is about exploring the textural qualities of audio composition outside the context of popular music and without the aid of the spoken word. Do not use this project to make music with beats, melodies, etc.

In addition to your audio composition, I am requiring that you post a written statement on the class blog under the category of “reading responses”. This statement must declare whether you have approached this project as A) a literal audio narrative, or B) an abstract audio composition. If your project falls into category “A”, briefly explain the story that you are telling. If your project is of category “B”, use the statement to briefly describe your approach to composing your sounds.

It is very important that you listen to (monitor) what you are working on. You must wear headphones while you are recording sounds to be aware of what you are actually recording. While you are editing audio, pay attention to what you are hearing and seeing. Monitor your VU meters (the visual displays that indicate the volume of a sound as it is playing) to make sure you have a loud enough signal, but aren’t clipping. Pay attention to gain staging (the process of optimizing your input signal levels in order to maximize signal strength while minimizing noise). This means paying close attention to the levels of the sound on their tracks in audition, on any effects you might be using, and on the master volume.

A successful project will likely be dynamic, free of clipping, and have an interesting variety of sounds and textures that work together in support of the goal of the work. The file you turn in should be a 44100 hz/16 bit or 32bit .AIFF. In addition to this, I will take your audition files and source material. In order for me to receive this, you must place all of these materials inside a folder with your name as it appears on my roll. For example, my folder would be called “Sean Miller” and it would contain an .AIFF of my project as well as my audition files. Projects are due March 25th.

AliOjan.Response to John Cage’s Experimental Music

After reading John Cage’s Experimental Music I come to understand that Cage is talented in music and artistic. The idea that was thought out of the expression or description of sound was amazing. He manages to hit on good points that music does or does not describe when it comes to sound. “There is no such thing as an empty space or an empty time. There is always something to see, something to hear.” John Cage. A sound that is continuous and how is it portrays and understood in the modern-day is a subject to think about.

I believe there is a difference in listening to music live or hearing it from a technological element which is commonly used. Also, sound can trigger a psychological state of mind to picture or read an occurring or happening moment but I believe in that fact that sound can possibly be extracted from time and there are moments where I hear inside my head or body in split seconds.

I see that there is biological effect of sound but there is much cultural involved as well. Nostalgic media and how things presented at first relating with that certain sounds shows the culture of that sound within that specific type of culture.


Audio in Media

These are some short definitions I primarily gathered from the book Audio in Media by Stanley R. Alten. I have taken the liberty to alter or clarify these definitions to make them more applicable to our class, but they are by no means COMPLETE definitions. I strongly suggest looking up these terms if you are interested in gaining a more comprehensive understanding of their varied meanings and usage.

Frequency: The number of times per second that a sound source vibrates. Expressed in hertz (Hz).

Frequency response: A measure of an audio system’s ability to reproduce a range of frequencies with the same relative loudness; usually represented in a graph.

Equalization (EQ): Altering the frequency/amplitude response of a sound source or sound system.

Equalizer: A signal-processing device that can boost, attenuate, or shelve frequencies in a sound source or sound system.

Gain: A measure of the ability of a circuit (often an amplifier) to increase the power or amplitude of a signal from the input to the output, by adding energy to the signal converted from some power supply. It is usually defined as the mean ratio of the signal output of a system to the signal input of the same system. It is often expressed using the logarithmic decibel (dB) units (“dB gain”). A gain greater than one (zero dB), that is, amplification, is the defining property of an active component or circuit, while a passive circuit will have a gain of less than one.

Gain staging: The process of optimizing your input signal levels in order to maximize signal strength while minimizing noise.

Noise: A- Any unwanted sound or signal.
B- A genre of sound art in which sound classified as noise is utilized for composition and/or performance.

Signal-to-noise ratio: The ratio between the signal level and the noise level of a component or sound system. The wider the signal-to-noise ratio, the better.

Sine wave: A pure tone or fundamental frequency with no harmonics or overtones.

Fundamental: The lowest frequency a sound source can produce.

Harmonics: Frequencies that are multiples of the fundamental.

Overtones: Harmonics that may or may not be multiples of the fundamental.

Monophonic (Mono): Refers to a sound system (or recording) with one master output channel.

Stereophonic (stereo): A sound system (or recording) with two channels. Stereo gives the listener the illusion of sonic depth and width.

Timbre: The unique tone quality or color of a sound.

Treble: Frequency range between approximately 5000 and 20000 Hz.

Bass: The lowest frequency range; between approximately 20 and 320 Hz.

Midrange: The part of the frequency spectrum to which humans are most sensitive; between approximately 250 and 4000 Hz.

Upper midrange: Frequency range between approximately 2560 and 5120 Hz.

Dynamic range: The range between the quietest and loudest sounds a sound source can produce without distortion. Also, the range between the quietest and loudest sounds in a recording.

Reverberation: Multiple blended, random reflections of a sound wave after the sound source has ceased vibrating.

Reverberation time: The length of time it takes a sound to die away.

Sound frequency spectrum: The range of frequencies audible to human hearing: roughly 20 to 20000 Hz.

Compressor: A signal processor with an output level that decreases as it’s input level increases. A compressor reduces the dynamic range of a sound; evening out the disparity between the quietest and loudest sounds.