info I contact
advertising
editorial schedule
acknowledgements
join the realtime email list
become a friend of realtime on facebook
follow realtime on twitter
donate

magazine  archive  features  rt profiler  realtimedance  mediaartarchive
back

earbash

sound/music CD reviews


 Da Contents H2

May 1 2013
Jon Rose
Rosin

April 3 2013
zephyr quartet
a rain from the shadows

July 17 2012
the wired lab
wired open day 2009

May 22 2012
ros bandt, johannes s sistermanns
tracings

March 20 2012
new weird australia editions: thomas williams vs scissor lock, spartak
jewelz & nippon

October 25 2011
avantwhatever label collection
gulbenkoglu gorfinkel; ben byrne; alex white; ivan lysiak

May 24 2011
decibel
disintegration: mutation

May 10 2011
blip (jim denley, mike majkowksi)
calibrated

various
listen to the weather

March 22 2011
topology
difference engine

November 22 2010
various
artefacts of australian experimental music volume II 1974-1983

September 20 2010
clocked out
the wide alley

September 7 2010
clocked out
foreign objects

August 23 2010
matt chaumont
linea

July 26 2010
sky needle
time hammer

May 10 2010
mike majkowski
ink on paper

November 6 2009
various
new weird australia vols 1 & 2

October 26 2009
clare cooper & chris abrahams
germ studies

July 17 2009
erdem helvacioglu
wounded breath

rice corpse
mrs rice

April 28 2009
james rushford
vellus

joel stern
objects, masks, props

January 22 2009
loren chasse
the footpath

mark cauvin
transfiguration

December 12 2007
the splinter orchestra
self-titled

October 24 2007
various
artefacts of australian experimental music 1930-1973

August 28 2007
jouissance
akathistos fragments

pateras/baxter/brown
gauticle

various artists produced by le tuan hung; dindy vaughan
on the wings of a butterfly: cross-cultural music by australian composers; up the creek

May 1 2006
ai yamamoto
euphonious

camilla hannan
more songs about factories

found: quantity of sheep
monkey+valve

philip brophy
aurévélateur

rod cooper
friction

December 1 2005
anthony pateras
mutant theatre

December 1 2005
charlie charlie & will guthrie
la respiration des saintes & building blocks

dj olive
buoy

hinterlandt
new belief system

jodi rose & guest artists
singing bridges: vibrations/variations

lawrence english
transit

lawrence english
ghost towns

michael j schumacher
room pieces

robin fox
backscatter dvd

tarab
surfacedrift

the necks
mosquito/see through

tim o'dwyer
multiple repeat

toydeath
guns, cars & guitars

warp: various artists
warp vision: the videos 1989-2004

zane trow
for those who hear actual voices

 

robin fox

backscatter dvd


Synaesthesia, 2004, SYN012
www.synrecords.com/


Digital culture is obsessed with synaesthesia, especially sound/image convergence. From club ‘visuals’ to automatic ‘visualiser’ plugins for mp3 applications, there’s an ideal of sensory fusion at work which draws on cyber/psychedelic rave culture, and utopian new media discourse.

Ideals aside, digital media forms do create new potential for varieties of ‘machine’ synaesthesia–automatic mappings between sound and image. Visualiser plugins offer specific and more-or-less arbitrary mappings of image to sound. While they can’t (promise to) induce a synaesthetic experience, they do offer a machine synaesthesia that might challenge, reorder, or at least reflect on, our own audiovisual perception. Yet most synaesthesia machines are little more than bolted-on nozzles that turn all your favourite tunes into generic visual sludge.

By contrast Robin Fox’s Backscatter disc presents a highly specific and refined synaesthesia machine. He has assembled a simple audiovisual synthesiser, using simple digitally synthesised audio and an old analog oscilloscope. The oscilloscope is in ‘polar’ mode, so instead of scanning left to right, displaying the conventional ‘trace’ of the waveform, the trace orbits the screen. Waveforms create woven circles, loops, twisting spirals, filigreed knots.

Response is instantaneous, so the screen jumps and twitches in sync with Fox’s audio signature skitters and blips. The sound-vision mapping is supple, the images beautiful and sometimes surprising. The pieces feel quite controlled, even composed, the way they seem to literally reveal new twists and tricks. Overall, the results are staggering.

Mitchell Whitelaw

© Mitchell Whitelaw; for permission to reproduce apply to realtime@realtimearts.net

Back to top