Doctoral Project – Recording and Analysing the Urban Sound Enviroment as a Source of Material for Music Creation

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Type: 
Research and Development
Main researcher: 
Luís Gustavo Martins (10%)
Team elements (%affectation): 
Advisor: Prof. Álvaro Barbosa, Co-advisor: Prof. Rui Penha (FEUP)
Abstract: 

The doctoral work proposed in the area of Music Computing, arose from the desire to find mechanisms to use soundscapes as a source material for significant artistic creations. According, the proposal not only continues the work already completed, but is an artistic reinterpretation of the sound that surrounds us and the way in which it influences us. Based on a permanent analysis of the sound environment in a large urban space, the idea is to create a public access database and use that information to systematise it so that it constitutes the artistic basis of different musical works, both in real and in deferred time

Objectives: 

Specifically, the objectives are:

  1. To study different methodologies to analyse the characteristics of sound in real time;
  2. To encourage the production of knowledge innovation in the area of the relationships between soundscape and musical creation and sound art;
  3. To develop an analysis model of an urban sound environment and place it on a database;
  4. To systematise the way to use the information resulting from this analysis in artistic works:
    1. Online software of generative music fed by the sound environment,
    2. An electroacoustic musical piece with deferred data,
    3. An improvised piece of music using that data in real time;
  5. Carry out an original investigation work (doctoral thesis) in the area of Art Sciences and Technologies;
  6. To disseminate and publish in monographs and specialised magazines in Portugal and abroad both the works done throughout the doctorate and the final dissertation;
  7. To disseminate and publish the artistic and scientific work produced at national and international performing and formative events (conferences, workshops, concerts, etc).
  8. To leave a model which can be applied in other cities or other spaces, which can be expanded into a more complex programme and be applied and used by other artists and areas of interest

Activities and calendar:
From 07/2012 to 01/2013 – 1st phase – Study and Comparison:

  1. Identify the state of the art of soundscape in urban environments and relate it with urbanism;
  2. Study and compare methods of online audio recording and broadcasting;
  3. Study and compare real time audio analysis systems;
  4. Study and compare database systems;
  5. Validate the work’s initial objectives.

From 01/2013 to 06/2013 – Implementation:

  1. Practical development of the project;
  2. Identify problems;
  3. Build prototype;
  4. Create and implement an analysis system on the database;
  5. Validate the solutions implemented.

From 06/2013 to 01/2014 – Integration:

  1. Continue developing the project;
  2. Integrate analysis models;
  3. Aply the first version of the complete working prototype;
  4. Test working prototype;
  5. Test and assess the database analysis and implementation system.

From 01/2014 to 03/2014 – 2nd phase – application to musical creation:

  1. Study and compare algorithmic composition methods;
  2. Study and compare methods using real time information in improvised music;
  3. Validate the chosen working methods.

From 03/2014 to 10/2014 – Execute the musical works:

  1. Write the electroacoustic work and play it in public;
  2. Create the generative music application;
  3. Public presentation of a concert of improvised music using analysis elements in real time;
  4. Assessment stage:
    1. Assess the application of generative music through an online users’ questionnaire;
    2. Assess the musical works through a panel of specialists in the area.
  5. Make the database public.

From 10/2014 to 06/2015 – Dissertation:

  1. Write the doctoral thesis.
    06/2015 – Hand in the doctoral thesis.

Given the development process obtained by the submission of articles through natural feedback, the idea is to present and also to publish the results attained over the three years of investigation in conferences and magazines, such as the following:
Publications:
06-04-2013
Submitted the article Urb: urban sound analysis and storage project to SMC 2013. (awaiting evaluation)

Artistic production linked to the investigation:
28-09-2012 to 6-10-2012
Snapshot - Som urbano sob fundo branco I
 Installation promoted by Sonoscopia Associação Cultiral for Manobras no Porto_Casa do Infante, Porto

1-10-2102
Concert X
Collaborative work for a 1-man orchestra, improvisers and electronics
_Centro Cultural Vila Flôr, Guimarães

19-10-2012
Sons do Porto
with/ Gustavo Costa
_Future Places, Matéria Prima, Porto

17-12-2012
L'Arbre des Songes
SUONI INAUDITI - L'Auditorium Che Canta
IV Rassegna Internazionale di Musica Contemporanea
Auditorium Cesare Chiti, Livorno

 

State: 
Finalized
Research group: 
Computer Music and Sound
Summary: 

The doctoral work proposed in the area of Music Computing, arose from the desire to find mechanisms to use soundscapes as a source material for significant artistic creations. According, the proposal not only continues the work already completed, but is an artistic reinterpretation of the sound that surrounds us and the way in which it influences us.
07/2012 to 06/2015