Pulse Landscapes

by Michelle Lewis King

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about

[CLANG009]

Pulse Landscapes is a collection of 14 chance encounters that have been translated into algorithmic compositions. These intimate landscapes are compositions that originate from a performance art series in which I use intuitive touch informed by Chinese pulse diagnosis as a means for exploring the intersubjective space/time between self and others. In this way, I create an acoustic ecology of embodied soundscapes that convey the unique sonic spaces hidden within each person. These soundscapes are not interpretative of the western notion of the circulatory system, but instead draw on Chinese medical philosophy in order to represent the body as a living cosmos pulsating with matter and energy.

Each of these tracks represents the transcription of an individual’s pulse into a rhythmic landscape. The intimate impressions of the encounter allows me to interpret each individual’s pulse as a unique set of sound-wave images according to the lexicon of traditional Chinese pulse diagnostics, which is a complex set of 28+ ideal waveform images that form infinite combinations that correspond to metaphysical and somatic states of being. In using pulse reading to make a record of the internal oscillations of others, touch is used as a method of deep listening that enables me to translate the subtle energies and pulsatile flowing of blood within the body of another person into a bespoke soundscape.
These works are created using the audio synthesis programming language SuperCollider. Instead of using SuperCollider to create logical musical arguments (as is standard), my use of SuperCollider intensifies its focus on listening as the basis for composing each landscape – adjusting the sine wave shapes and functions within each programming command by ‘ear’ in order to create sounds which match the fluid and electric-like nature of the vibrations I feel within people’s pulses. Clinical notes, drawings and graphic notations generated from the performance are used to compose each SC command line so that the vibratory qualities of the drawn lines associated with each pulse position can be rendered as faithfully as possible.

Whilst these tracks can be played on any system, they have been especially designed for headphones so that the listener can have a more intimate listening experience. Audio file volumes vary to reflect force or faintness of a pulse impression. Please adjust the volume to obtain the desired full sound.

Release webpage on clang at clang.cl/pulse-landscapes-2/

credits

released November 25, 2013

Michelle Lewis-King is an artist and lecturer exploring sound in relation to embodiment and was awarded a PhD studentship in Digital Performance by the Cultures of the Digital Economy Research Institute at Anglia Ruskin
University in 2011. Michelle’s research investigates the contemporary convergence between science, art, touch and technology.

Her creative practice draws upon her transdisciplinary training in the fields of fine art, performance, audio programming, Chinese Medicine, biomedicine and clinical practice. Michelle has shown her work both nationally and internationally. Recent group shows include, ‘Digital Futures’ at the V&A Museum, ‘Artist’s Games’ at Spike Island, ‘Future Fluxus’ at Anglia Ruskin Gallery curated by Bronac Ferran and futurecity as part of the 50th anniversary of Fluxus, ‘Experimental Notations’ at The Royal Nonesuch Gallery in Oakland, CA, and ‘Rencontres Internationales’ at various locations in Paris, Madrid and Berlin.

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clang Denmark

The Denmark-based clang label and booking agency was initiated January 2013. Its most important purpose is take adventurous music to a wider community.

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