A Brief Reverie
In making this piece, I aimed to traverse different means of sound creation and utilization in an ambisonic environment. A Brief Reverie, made in eight channels (2nd order ambisonics), follows a person in their mundane activity of popping popcorn in an apartment. While the popping begins, the subject puts on music that slowly begins to envelop the listener. This enveloping coupled with the chaotic, unsynchronized microwave noises at the inception of the piece, forebodes another dimension to the piece than simply a snack making session. The music crescendos and oscillates more hectically between the output channels and then ends rather abruptly, leaving a faint residual reverberation. The subject steps into another dimension; we hear her cautiously approaching a door. When the door opens, she faces a rather jarring symphony of bass-slapping funk music, whose various components begin to incapsulate her one by one until she shuts the door and is left in a room of void-piercing sounds. She eventually is snapped back to reality by the timer of the popcorn finishing, and the piece ends as Embraceable You finishes its last chorus.
The tracks in this piece come from external recordings and computer generated sounds. The popcorn and vinyl recordings were recorded using an ambisonic microphone. I added the popcorn recording in the beginning through a panning script in ChucK in order for it to pan successfully across eight channels: for some reason, when I put these recordings into Ableton Live, they were all different lengths and ended up with staggered starting. I was going to change it for all of them to begin at the same time and have a more clean panning effect; however, I actually liked the chaotic nature of the various beeping and felt that it alluded to the surreal aspect of most of the piece while maintaining clarity of the action taking place. The middle of the piece was created in Ableton Live from various samples. I enjoyed making this piece; as this was my first time actually taking an audio project from start to finish, there were a lot of renditions of it because a lot of things I figured would sound great, well, didn’t.
This link should play right into an 8-channel speaker array without any decoding or separate files: