RADIO PANSPERMIA SITE: radiopanspermia.space

The Panspermia Hypothesis proposes that life on earth may have come from bacteria distributed through interstellar space. 15 years ago, I found it a fitting metaphor for a performance/installation project I conceived of. I would beam the sounds of my Endangered Guitar performance through a radio transmitter to various radios in the space, all set to the same frequency.

It would have been the same sound; however, large radios would provide the lower end of the spectrum, smaller radios the higher parts. The audience would carry around hand-held radios to project sounds in different directions, making it a moving loudspeaker orchestra.

AUDIO ORCHESTRATOR

Using BBC R&D’s Audio Orchestrator (see links below), one can make this today into a multichannel performance over the internet. Each voice is different and plays through its own device: desktop or laptop computer, smartphone, or tablet.

One can experience the works on this site at home as a spatialized environment. So far, I have re-composed eight pieces for the Audio Orchestrator, using sources and excerpts of multichannel performances and projects from the last 15 years. The works use between 4 and 16 voices, but I re-edited the works in ways that one can get some idea when just two devices are connected. Not many people have 16 computers at their disposal, however, 16 people could easily attend a public installation. How does it work?

LOUDSPEAKER ORCHESTRA VS. SOUND OBJECTS

For many of the 4-channel works, the speaker’s position is indicated at the bottom (Front Left, Front Right, Rear Right, Rear Left), so you could place the devices accordingly. That said, most works follow the loudspeaker orchestra idea, in that sounds reside in just one device and are not panning between speakers. In that case, it does not matter where your device is situated.

However, I had good results with the sound object concept, too. If sounds move between speakers, one would need to hear _all_ channels at precisely the right position. I focused less on immersive environments (such as ambisonics) but single sound objects moving between individual speakers, and this worked well with the Audio Orchestrator.

BBC

Link to the Audio Orchestrator is here, the tool was developed by the BBC Research & Development Audio Team. Check out the other tools on Connected Studio MakerBox. There’s a list of pilot productions on the BBC Taster and on GitHub. For more discussions about the Audio Orchestrator see their forums.


WORKS

Click on the images to go directly to the Audio Orchestrator Version.


BETWEEN THE EARTH AND SKY 2020


Between the Earth and Sky
An ambisonic recorder is bouncing around in the back compartment of a moped on the streets of New York. 4 voices plus a Buchla drone on all channels. Cyland 1/1 Competition Shortlist Award.

METHODS OF EXPANSION AND CONTRACTION 2018



Methods
Methods of Expansion and Contraction was a 16-channel sound installation presented 2016 on Governors Island in New York City. Sounds were created on a Buchla Music Easel and a Hordijk Blippoo Box. Each of the 16 channels is slightly different, and displaced in time. 

EUCLIDEAN HORNS / BUCHLA VERSION 2017/2019



Euclidean Horns
Euclidian Horns was originally written for the horns of the ships in St. John’s, Newfoundland, transforming the tugboats, trawlers, and ocean-going freighters in the harbor into an orchestra on water. The sound in the bowl-shaped harbor carries for up to 12 miles. The piece is written for a maximum of 7 ships, but as on the day of the performance only 4 ships were available, I recreated the 7 voices of the piece using a Buchla Music Easel. A recording of the original performance of the ships can be added on the Main Device. The Buchla version was premiered 2019 at Elektromuseum, Moscow.



CONFLICT OF INTEREST 2017/2018



Conflict of Interest
Originally commissioned as an Endangered Guitar work by Berlin’s Klingende Datenströme Festival 2017, this version for electromyographic gesture controller was presented at Hunter College in 2018 as part of the Creative Tech Week. The spatialization was done on an 8-channel cube system, here I folded the 4 height channels into the 4 lower ones.


BALANCE OF POWER 2005



Balance of Power
The LEMUR GuitarBot (singerbots.com) is a collection of four MIDI-controlled monochords built by Eric Singer. This piece is a 2005 multi-channel recording of the guitar pickups, overhead microphones and computer processing channels. It was presented on 5.1 surround sound installations in the US, Germany and Bulgaria. You’ll hear the 4 channels of the surrounding speakers, with the center speaker added to all channels.


TAIL ROTOR 2011/2016



Tail Rotor
Original 12-channel version recorded during a residency at Diapason Gallery 2011. Published 2016 as TAIL ROTOR on album Deus Ex Machina / Endangered Guitar Live, on label Clang. 4 channel mix.


ENDANGERED GUITAR 2006



Endangered Guitar
Excerpt of a 17-channel performance at Issue Project Room, NYC (16 channels under the ceiling of a circular space, one channel in the back of the audience), mixed down to 4 channels.


AT THE HENDRIX HOTEL 2018



Hendrix
2017 would have been Hendrix' 75th birthday. This is a 4-channel remix of the original 8-channel version premiered 2018 at Spectrum, NYC. Ideally the devices are placed clockwise around the listener, the spatialization increases drastically towards the end.