Topology Chamber 2 (2015) 13'22

'Topology Chamber 2' (2015) is an acousmatic composition in 5th order 3-D ambisonics. The work is created from the sonification of data recorded from human spatial motion resulting from playing with a balloon and a cymbal.

A number of markers were placed at key points on the body, balloon and cymbal, and then while exploring the kinetic and acoustic properties of these instruments, a high-speed motion tracking camera system recorded the 3-D location of each marker and a microphone array recorded the actual sound made by the instruments.

Datasets and acoustic recordings were then analysed to reveal rules that could determine the segmentation of temporal-spatial micro- and meso-scale motion-gesture ‘objects’, which in turn allowed data and sound to be segmented into phrase, sub-phrase, smaller gestural units and ‘coarticulated’ atoms (which are the tiny elements that contextually ‘smear’ into whole gestures). The rules were then used to create a system for composing ’fake’ datasets from the different kinds of segments embodied with the physical properties of the original performance.

The new data was interactively sonified in 3-D ambisonics with the composer’s own software called Cheddar. Musically the work attempts to project a sense of tangible sound where tensions emerge from the pull between known gestural archetypes and invisible music.

Topology Chamber II is an early work in which I explored precise data sonification of human motion as a means for synthesising spatial sound and musical structure.