Final Project - "Walking to Bridge"

In approaching this final project I felt drawn to make an artifact that could synthesize my research into Psychogeography (writing, films, walking), Acoustic Ecology + Soundscapes, and NYC noise pollution.  I also wanted to integrate some inventive sound design and make a piece that played within it's own stylistic rules.  

This video incorporates direct and remixed quotes from Guy Debord (head of the Situationist Intl, Patrick Keillor (Robinson in Space), Janet Cardiff (Her Long Black Hair), and Robert McFarlane (A Road of One's Own).  It attempts to suggest visual metaphors through the use of 'picture in picture' edits, creating thematic connections and new geographies.  

Regarding the soundtrack, the audio has again been turned into MIDI, and then passed through resonators to create harmonic drones that sit in the background of the mix, as well as turning more discrete sonic events like car horns and sirens into notes on the piano, crotales, and cello.  This was recording using a Sony PCM field recorder for the footsteps (with dress shoes for better sounds) and some of the field recordings I captured while videoing/walking.  The Ambisonic Sennheiser Ambeo VR mic was used for capturing cityscapes when I returned to the locations while not holding a camera.  The nondiagetic sound as an approach to derange the senses of the listener/walker are used throughout this piece, which was a direct reference to the impact of this simple trick in Cardiff's Her Long Black Hair.  This would be an integral part of the audio guide/sound walk experience I plan to make, for which this piece then also serves as a proof of concept.

I really see this as the beginning of work I'll do for my thesis: a walking guide that combines elements of Janet Cardiff's soundwalks, Patrick Keillor's films, R. Murray Schafer's soundscape recordings, and Paul Lansky's music.  Bundled within an AR location-aware application, I think there's a rich recipe here for impactful immersive acoustic storytelling.

Description: A narrator's soundtrack accompanies you as you explore your way from south Brooklyn to Manhattan on foot, offering historical information and poetic prompts that encourage you to look and listen to the urban landscape. Part video poem, part proof of concept primer for a guided psychogeographic walking experience.

Temporary Expert is one of the most rewarding classes I've ever been lucky enough to take, and the ability to wander off into various directions with my research has been a joy and a great lesson.  Marina is an incredible intellectual guide, and I'm going to miss her and this class very much next semester.