Sonic Wallpaper News
Monday, May 22, 2006 9:04:36 AM
All Work and No Play, Makes Sonic a Dull Boy
While I tend to write about development, programming, the Web, and about running a media site, My roots and original passion are in creating media. I enjoy dabbling in all things digital, but my focus has always been on music. Over the years, music has always served as an excellent context for improvising and exploring creativity. But... as my computer gained more speed, and my mind wandered around the Web, I found that my music could take on new concepts and directions if I started working with visual mediums.
Unfortunately, I've yet to move very far into video as I'd like to. If you don't have all the skills and knowlege, you do have to invest a lot of time in learning how to present a good flow of imagery. Depending on what style you are going for, you also need a fair amount of time to plan your shots, take the shots, edit them, add transitions, etc. Because of my increased interest in video, I've started watching more video on the Web. And... well... this big wave of 'user generated content' that is apparently going to change the face of media... it's not so slick, it's a bit raw, and it seems true video producers haven't joined the party as much as we need them. With that said, I can tell you that the videos I'll link below are not that great, and all but 1 was actually generated using software that generates the 'cuts' based on the music you give it http://www.MuVee.com .
While I haven't gone very far in teaching myself video editing, I have made a more progress with game maps using the Unreal Tournament game engine. Certainly, my mapping skills are novice, but I've successfully pulled together two maps, one of which took over 100hrs - most of which was time spent learning. Game design is a job I'd love to have if I had more time. I bought a few books on the subject two years ago and even considered moving into that field. There's so much potential in games - espeically now with such 3D realism, advanced AI, fast hardware, and top notch video cards. Why more people don't play around with the Unreal game engine boggles my mind. I'm sure it's because it's a 'game engine' and people aren't considering it for anything but games. What I hope to start using this technology for, is building 3d interactive art installations. For example, why not create some type of largescale musical instrument which is played by having characters jumping on pads, or having massive syncronized structures which chime out tones as certain parts of the structure come within a distance of other parts. Or a room with balls that bounce around and trigger sounds and animations that are associated to squares on the walls. Or... make a movie, as in "Machinima" - which is the making of movies within game engines.
Ok - enough talk - Here's the links and info on all the music, video and game maps I've released recently. The videos are all a year or more old, I just never put them out or announced them.
Song Page: http://www.ArtistServer.com/artist/song.cfm/a/0/TID/14062
A downtempo IDM track built from a loop of from my friend Todd and I
clapping. Lots of sub bass in the mix. This piece seems to have a sad
emotional feel, yet it projects an uplifting, positive sense across the
track through the skittery melody.
Song Page: http://www.ArtistServer.com/artist/song.cfm/a/0/TID/14063
An electro breaks track that has a bit of that 'spy theme' feel to it,
but a more experimental approach. The track was built from drum loops,
drum samples, and a few runs of my guitar through a Tone Port by Line6
to generate the synth parts and guitar jabs.
Song Page: http://www.ArtistServer.com/artist/song.cfm/a/0/TID/14330
An improvised piece of music done in 4 passes. First, I recorded the
main guitar part (distortion, heavy reverb, delay). Next, I recorded
the second guitar part (sample+hold effect and dynamic filter), which
noodles around the main guitar. Then, I plugged in a bass, layed down a
track, and let it sit for a few days. I realized it needed something
else, so I set up a mic and recorded the percussion parts. Influence:
I joined http://www.Veoh.com and started uploading some videos I've made over the last few years.
The Flag Chamber
Read about it and watch: http://www.artistserver.com/artist/pages.cfm/a/9/pg/167/SonicWallpaper
(note: Veoh.com has recompressed the video so it looks a bit pixeled now - if you download the video, you'll have a better quality version). The song 'The Flag Chamber' is a rocking breakbeat track with lots of energy.
This video was created by taking footage from a trip to Arizona and ran it though a piece of software called MuVee. The video features a 'shoe tree' - where people have tossed and hung around 100 shoes in a tree. The song 'Smokey Velvet' sounds like a space age lounge.
the video features the burnt remains of a Manzanita grove that burnt down just East of San Diego, CA. Again, the video was generated by running video segments through MuVee.
The song 'Serenus Maximus' is an abstract ambient piece - the mid section has some great moments of silence.
There's Not Much Space
This video was created from several small video clips found on the Web mixed w/ effects, still photos and a few home captured clips. Just like the song, the video serves more as a collage of elements rather than telling you a story or idea.
Music For Wormholes
A video of a trip to Yosemite that's been heavily chopped up and processed to a Ambient Drum-n-Bass track called: Music For Wormholes. Again, the video was generated by running video segments through MuVee.
Game - Maps for Unreal Tournament 2004 (UT2004)
My Maps can be found here: http://www.unrealplayground.com/mapper.php?id=11993
VCTF - The Flag Chamber - a vehicle Capture the Flag map
An underground arena carved from a large asteroid which was then launched into a 6 year orbit around the sun. This map provides a well balanced game with plenty of space for action on the ground, in a vehicle or on foot. Some highlights:
* viewports off each team's base, showing a view of space and the outside landscape
* a crack in the ceiling that drips water down into a pool that has formed on the terrain
* each team's base has screens showing the front entrance of each base
* includes an original song recorded for this map
* bot support
DM - Liquid Space - a Deathmatch map
A low gravity map based on an array of platforms which are being held in place by a celestial formation called Liquid Space. With nowhere to hide, and muliple levels of platforms to jump between, this map offers a fast paced game that's won with aggression and laughter. :) Full bot support.
Enjoy the music, videos - and if you don't own a copy of UT2004, pick one up - get the DVD version and you'll also get a 2nd disc filled with video tutorials covering how to develop in Unreal.
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Mobile - Web - Media
Thursday, Apr 06, 2006 1:07:53 PM
Remix Video, Remix Your Life, Remix the World I see the progression into video and video remixing as an explosion in self expression for humanity. It's a self realization of what's going on, allowing life to see more of itself - which is what learning and sharing information is all about. It gives us perspective as to what 'normal' is or what 'extreem' is, and since this expands across all borders, it reveals our cultural boundries.
This is what the progression of humanity has been about all along - and now/soon, the degree and magnitude of this will greatly increase.
We have more people online, with better connections, and more sites and services providing unfiltered publishing of personal content every month. Add to that the ability for those people to 'remix' the world before them as they choose... and you have yourself a revolution in entertainment.
Certainly I'm being a bit ideal about this, but when you consider how media shapes the world, especially here in the US, you have to wonder what happens when "WE" are the media. Now think about everyone being able to remix all of that... and you have the Web and an exciting new facet of entertainment.
There's no reason why everyone shouldn't have their own 'station' that streams/collages/remixes text/photos/video/data from their own collection with the same media types out on the Web. The end result would be a non-linear audio-visual collage built from your interests and experiences blended possibly with your friends media, or media from a certain site - or a certain keyword search, or media you pay to access so your station is cool.
Why would you want this?
Because it would be streaming to your own TV/screen - or it would be flowing into a networked 'poster' on the wall - maybe you have a few of these posters and each one is set to generate and pull content about each of your favorite bands or actors or places.
Interactive and generative media environments appear to be the destiny for entertainment because our relationship with technology is shifting from passive to empowering:
Here are a few links for some video sites to keep your eyes on:
- passive technology - TV, Radio, etc are loosing traction and our attention because they demand so much of our attention and give us too little control over our media experiences
- empowering technology - Web, digital media, portable devices and their connectivity is a foundation for attention management, experience sharing, and provides new experience opportunities.
Internet TV services
What about Copyright?
Yes, that's going to be a tricky issue. How do we make the transition with the old school media companies. How do we help them discover how to monetize their media in new and interesting ways? We need to address the issue of copyright as these services and concepts grow. You can already see issues forming around YouTube.com. While a few old school media companies are starting to embrace YouTube, others don't want to be a part of it, possibly because they don't know if they're loosing control.
Copyright issues tend to lead to court cases - so I have created a new slogan for media sites who might have copyright violations on their sites: Use me, don't sue me!
Pure and simple... If you are a MegaCorp media company, call up the site/service and ask how you can participate, ask how 'we' can monetize it, ask if you can see the detailed stats for the items in question, link to it, talk about it, etc. If the only thing you can do is have a lawyer smash the opportunity, there's a chance your company won't be much of a player in the next stage of media and entertainment.
One of the reasons why I'm writing about this, is that it's a space I'm very interested in. Over the last 6 months, I've been working out an idea based around remixing media in intersting ways. I already owned RemixWorld.com - but picked up RemixSystem.com, RemixServer.com and RemixChannel.com as potential names to use for this idea. I can see now that the space is already bubbling, that I'll either need to get this concept moving, or possibly approach one of the current players with my plans. Two of the sites I listed above are here in San Diego; veoh.com and vmix.com, and neither are playing the remix angle yet.
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