Making a racket on the Soundwall

So today I was very excited because I got the chance to play around with Lotto Lab’s Soundwall – a mammouth interactive speaker array, currently housed at the Science Museum in London.

The Soundwall awaits...

The wall features a total of 77 speakers and is controlled via the use of a handy touch screen interface. The interface allows the user to essentially bounce sound from three mono tracks (or up to 8 analogue inputs) across the wall in realtime, much to the delight, or perhaps annoyance of everyone in hearing distance.

The simple touch screen interface includes volume faders for each of the three tracks, which are subsequently represented by one of three coloured balls. These coloured balls essentially represent where the sound is localised on the speaker wall; so as the user moves the balls across the screen the sound on the wall pans accordingly. This allows the user to throw sound across the wall in all directions, just imagine a ball of sound bouncing about inside your head and you’re almost there… It’s certainly very cool to play with.

The touchscreen composing desk. Image: David Robertson.

So I tried out a collection of ‘racket’ themed samples which I have prepared for use during next weeks Science Museum Lates:

… and here’s a clip of me standing infront of the wall as David Robertson throws the sound all over the place, you can hear an interview with David in the next episode of Tomorrow’s Tentacles:

Although the wall’s functionality is pretty limited at the moment, it will be interesting to see how its use is expanded. It could certainly do with a few more features, perhaps expanding on the user interface to include a selection of tracks or the addition of effects which could be controlled via the touch screen. Its use as a performance tool is certainly very attractive and I’d love to experiment with it further! – Watch this space.

The Joy of Birds

Finally figured out how to embedd this video…

This is a short video I produced last month with Nisha Ligon, Tom Welch and Camilla Ruz for the Guardian website. It features BBC wildlife presenter Kate Humble and Martin McGill who were promoting their new book ‘Watching Waterbirds with Kate Humble‘ at the London Wetlands Centre.

We got really lucky with the weather. Turning up at Hammersmith station in the morning we were greeted with a torrential downpour – not ideal for shooting wildlife outside. Thankfully the rain subsided just as we arrived at the Wetlands Centre and we were granted with an afternoon’s worth of sunshine to walk round the site and capture some of the wildlife on camera.

Check out the video below to have a look for yourself!

Watch here:

… or below if it works:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

The London Wetlands Centre is an unusual oasis of wildlife and greenery which is situated surprisingly within the city confines near Hammersmith. It provides people with a great chance to break free from the usual urban surroundings and take in some of the natural scenery usually reserved to those living outside the city limits.


Weather, walks and slugs

The Trip

An experimental sound piece I produced from recordings made whilst on a trip to Wales.

The piece was inspired and recorded during some coastal hill walking with my parents, and is a response to the peaceful stillness experienced whilst high up on a hilltop – the serenity of which invoked a rather dream like quality and as we looked downwards into the valley, the houses, cars and distant objects came to look like ‘toys’…

Walking in the weather.