AudioStrobe
6th December 2010

 

Mandala Music PART 2

“The synesthetic Experience”

"The Tunnel"

Written for AVS Journal Vol. 2, #2 / Spring 2002

 

So, how did AudioStrobe® technology begin?

"Well actually, it really is about the story of my life.

At the age of 14 I had the chance to visit the Soviet Union and after two weeks recovery back in Poland, to leave for the USA. I think it must be a kind of a culture shock for me visiting so different systems in such short period of time. (Apparently Poland was not so much ‘communistic' as it was supposed to be!)
Having the great luck of getting financial support for attending a private high school (Gilman School) in Baltimore.
There, I was computer spoiled for the first time in my life.
Almost every afternoon after the study hall, before gym, I disappeared in the computer room.
And what a computer they did have! It must be one of the first solid state HPs with 64 K RAM and large as a wardrobe itself.

But anyway, at Gilman in the music class I heard for the first time in my life Tomita's electronic interpretation of Musorsky's ‘Picture at an Exhibition' and then ‘Switched on Bach'.
I was very fascinated by the possibilities of the electronic music and I made my first attempts with the school's HP. I did not bring it to sing like the HAL computer but still the tape puncher made several different rhythms. Also I used my parents hi-fi set for making recordings of sounds of falling books, clapping chairs and feedback tones between the speakers and the microphone. I played this piece to an American colleague of my Father and he just asked ‘How did you generate this?' I believe he was disappointed to hear it was so simple.

In one of the mail order catalogs I found simple devices for relaxation using biofeedback techniques. I would love to order one but they were just beyond my financial fantasies.

One day I read an article in one of the American magazines about synesthesia. I was fascinated by the descriptions of people who could see sound or smell visuals. Although the description was rather popular description of pathological state I felt that there must be much more about this ‘symptom' in the art creation process. I did not imagine then that this phenomenon of synesthesia will be one of my main ideas in the role as a producer and director in my life.

After one year of stay in the USA I had to go back to Poland. There was a further electronic music fascination in me especially after watching in Kubrick's and Clarke's film ‘2001' the ‘Tunnel Flight' scene.

In order to heal my depressions from the grey reality of the ‘socialistic' society and the rigid school system I built a color organ and ‘danced' with my hands throwing shadows on the wall to the rhythm of the hard rock music of the ‘70's.

Having just passed my 16 I read an article in an official ‘Poland' magazine about a Polish artist, Stanislav Ostoja-Kotkowski, living in Australia, who was doing experiments with music and visuals generated through modulation of laser light by the original audio signal. I have seen some of the photographs from his performances and I was very impressed. The editorial staff of ‘Poland' magazine was kind enough to pass my letter to the artist and some weeks later I received a letter from him. I wrote him back and received an answer again. He was so kind to describe some of his next plans for his project and they dealt with controlling the laser lights with biofeedback in order to create visuals. This brought me back my interest on EEG and other biofeedback systems from the USA. I checked some of the electronic catalogs for operational amplifiers but they were not sensitive enough and not yet available in Poland. I moved to another city with my parents and then I lost contact to Mr. Ostoja-Kotkowski. Today through an internet search I learned that he has passed away. Some of his works are stored in the database of the Melbourne University.
( some of his pictures are available at abstractaustralis.com.au )

I was able to try out one of the first ‘moogs' on an international fair in Poznan. The keyboard was a kind of a touch panel. My girlfriend waited patiently for me but I was lost in the world of sounds, starting and stopping the simple sequencer, and playing with the effect patches. Sometime later, maybe hours later I just heard a voice ‘We have to close now. Man, you have to stop playing otherwise you will become crazy!'

Together with two of my high school friends we took apart a transistor-built Russian ‘Minsk' computer, which was ‘donated' to our school by the local university as they had to make place for a new integrated circuit model.
Using these parts and others we were building from optical pickups for guitars up to a simple polymoog system including a ring generator and some audio effects. With these equipment I did my first compositions.

This was time of many changes, in myself, as well as in the political climate in Poland. My inner outlets was reading modern literature, writing poems and play scripts, short stories, experimenting with sound and I also started to paint again.
This time I had a project in my mind where music and visuals would be united in a synesthetic experience. I planned to use air-brush technique and frame by frame recording film camera. The music was to be the first part of Beethoven's 9th.

In high school I began to study physics but soon noticed my artistic part taking over. I joined one of the experimental theater groups, ‘Maya', first as doing lights for the running play, but soon I had the chance to receive professional training as actor. This was fascinating time working on plays, improvisation techniques, changing and growing. I visited many Polish and international theater festivals, workshops and other cultural events. These 3 years were so intensive for my personal growth process, intensive in the social changes culminating with the ‘Solidarity', and in the interaction with the artists in the community that it is more proper to spare all this memories for a separate story.

 

To be continued in the next newsletter.

Tamas Theater

 

Links and other external resources

(Disclaimer: These are third parties liks found via Google on the NET. I take no responsibility for their content,  their availability or legal issues.)

 

Centaurus Foundation

Centaurus Foundation is an officially acknowledged non-profit charity organization. It has been active since 2006. All the duties of the executives and board members are on a voluntary and honorary basis.
Their mission is to provide proper care for mistreated horses, designated for slaughter, (over)exploited in sport and recreation.

We want to support their activities. Please help them if you can!

Doris is almost two years old. She has been a fulfillment of a dream, of a girl, who became bored with the gift very soon, much sooner as her parents expected her to.
When Doris came to the beautiful barn she had just only 6 months and a big ribbon and everybody was fascinated about her. Some time passed and the living toy lost the fascination, and what has been pleasure became just hard and annoying duty. Finally the owners lost all their interest in unwanted Doris.
She has not been cared for a long time, not by her owners or a vet.
Finally someone advised to sell her. But today it is not easy to get a client for a horse, especially for a horse missing a piece of her ear. And this gave her one way ticket – to a slaughterhouse.

Doris

In the barn, where Doris stayed, lived Kropka as well. She had been working as a ride pony for children for many years. Neighbors saw her this little pony working under hot sun, or waiting for the next client constraint by rope to a next tree. Not long ago, her legs were not performing as they should. Now, 10 years old, she is not able to work
anymore. So the owner, in order to avoid further costs decided to sell her to the same dealer, who would come for Doris…

Kropka

The price for the life of Doris is 600 EUR, for the life of Kropka 220 EUR
We have time until 18th of December to save both of them.

We ask for support to the Centaurius Foundation. If you want to donate, and each Euro counts please use the bank data below:

SWIFT (BIC) CODE: BPKOPLPW
IBAN : PL15102052260000600202200350

Subject: "Horses calling for help"

Bank Address:
PKO BP  Odzial 1 we Wroclawiu
ul. Wita Stwosza 33/35
50-901 Wroclaw
Poland

Fundacja Centaurus
Borelowskiego 53/2
51-678 Wrocław
Poland

www.centaurus.org.pl

 
 

"Synesthesia"

A very “instructive” film about the synesthesia:

Synesthesia

"Synesthesia"

A very “meditative” film about the synesthesia:

 

Synesthesia

"Glass Bead Game"

A very nice classical music composition called after “Glasperlenspiel” by “kpunkt”.
It could be almost an algorithmic one...

Glasperlenspiel

Ultra Fractal is the best way to make fractal art.

It is very easy to use and yet more capable than any other fractal program.

I am playing around with the demo version right now and have decided myself to buy an Ultra Fractal 5 Extended Edition copy for my future AV-projects.

The workspace is very intuitive and easy to work with. I was able to work with the program in 5 minutes using my knowledge from other programs like Photoshop or 3D MAX.

PS: I just bought it myself!

Ultra Fractal
   

-> back to the previous newsletter Part 1 "Mandala Music" <-

-> back to the newsletter <-


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