Widowsweave is an awareness raising series of performances highlighting the conditions of Iraqi Widows who often struggle to acquire even basic necessities such as clean water or adequate shelter. Through artistic durational activities the artist and public participants mark 3,000,000 lines representing the number of Iraqi widows from 30 years of war, tyranny and sanctions.


Kevin Valentine will have three new pieces in the Faculty Show at North Central College, Naperville. The reception is April 8th, from 6-8

Saturday, February 28, 2009

I played with Reason in the lab. I tried out a few synths, the Thor and Maelstrom and Subtractor, but it's just a start.

Thor has a cool portamento, if it's dialed down enough.
Maelstrom took over, but I had trouble with the Reason interface, which wouldn't play all my notes?
Used the Zoom to record room and hall sounds, including boiler, vent to spray booth, sound from DJ on main floor etc... while recording video for Shalaka.

Also put Zoom recorder on floor aimed at her feet when she reached the smaller space of media student space in basement.

Shalaka read assorted names for geographical features of Venus, and I followed each with it's origin as a goddess, mythical woman, or historical woman.

I hope to be able to incorporate these into future installation work (and or an interdisciplinary book?)

Related item:  I made a mock-up of a book for Artist's Books.  If I can put interactivity (flex sensor or light sensor) to work, and the sound files,  I can achieve the book mentioned above.
This is the first set of entries for my Sound as Art class. I've been at it for a while, so I have to transcribe from two notebooks first.

In Audacity, I...
Combined 440 & 660 cycle saw tooth waves / .5 sec at 44.1kHz / amplitude .30

I played with the envelope generator to try to create a "Swell" effect
This was partially successful, but not too interesting.
I added white noise which panned left and right (using cross fades on the wave form) at -6 dB

To this I added two sine waves at 442 &662 cycles at amplitude .2

this gives a more interesting sound. I played with the respective volumes and pans.

Mon 2/?
I took out the zoom recorder, but accidentally left the wind screen in my backpack. I recorded street noise, the el train, and a bulldozer repeatedly scraping the street, then I went into the parking garage and recorded the wind coming through the third floor vents and the train from inside.

We made contact mikes today and I immediately went home and tried it on my Mandolin.
I have the smaller version, which produces a thinner sound. I plugged it into my acoustic amp and cut the treble.

It sounded best on the metal tailpiece, clipped on with the alligator clip. The sound on the bridge picked up too much noise. the endpeg was too quiet, and the tuning pegs were too buzzy.
It worked great with a little more reverb than I usually use. I turned the effect up to 5 or 6 on room or reverb+delay.

Contact Mike on Guitar
I tried the contact mike we made on my Alvarez dreadnought. - it's the smaller Jameco version of the mike.

The first place I could get the alligator clip to clip was the tuning nut of the D string (where you wind it). It sounded good and loud, a bit tinny like an old radio. Playing with it helped. It was actually tinnier when the whole mike touched the tuner than when it was just the edge.

It was noisier, less loud and more tinny in the tuning peg and worse still on the string itself (up past the nut).

There was little sound on the strap peg by the neck brace (wood too thick?), more towards the endpeg and that was the bassiest as well.

I also tried it on the body of the guitar, but it was too noisy and quieter that the tuning peg or endpeg.

Used the zoom to record practice performance of "Widows" involving drawing 3000x1000 lines on a chalkboard to represent 3 million Iraqi widows, as per the resigning minister of women's affairs in Iraq. Her office budget had been cut from $150,000 to $75,000/yr.

Messed with Cubase effects over copied track from song of mine, "My Bra"
I tried out:
Restoration - grungelizer:
includes pops and scratches, settings to emulate 33, 45 and 78 speed crackle, EQ visually turns the horn of an old Victrola, AC current switch form 50 to 60 and timeline knob from 1900 to today.
This will be a great shortcut for achieving the old sound of radio or records for backtracks.

Cloner: (4 voice chorus effects) with modulation and delay
choose 1-4 voices, adjust spacial quality, and group selected detune and delay, with humanize knobs as well.

easy to overuse, it produces a tinny feedback with adjustable peak graph (sharpness), speed and tone sometimes slower or really fast sound the same. can create a variation on auto wah, but not quite a phaser.

Ring modulator:
Knobs for an oscillator and an LFO low frequency oscillator. buttons for each to choose from square, sine, saw or zigzag, with percentage knogs for the wave; attack and delay knobs. The Oscillator has Frequency and Roll-Off knobs as well as EQ-like center of range buttons.
Comes with presets like Hoth, which could be good for a Doctor Who-like transporter or weapons fire, and Sore Throat,which might be good on about 40-50 mix with guitar to add grunge.