Aquarium Reactive App Project Overview: 2011
October 13, 2011
— apps, art music, contemporary music, education, electronic music, installation art, listening, literacy, media, music education, software, sound, sound art, teaching
The project began with students going to the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific to shoot images and gather film-footage of some of the creatures living there. The footage is for reference inspiration when composing.
I have assembled the clips into small movies in iMovie, removing the sound. The short films are loaded to our YouTube channel to be available for my students at school and home.
The photos are edited and loaded to the app so the user can match the visual on the phone to the actual display in the aquarium.
I am building on the compositional skills learned in the “Krapp’s Last Tape” project in the creation of the apps. Using the RJC-1000 software by the RJDJ team, each app can host up to four samples as well as little reactive modules written in Pure Data.
RJDJ, as hosted on an iPhone or iPad, allows programmable access to the microphone, gyroscope, etc…, to modify sounds and filters written in Pure Data. Each “page” of a “scene” can be labeled with an image. Four pages are possible per scene. The project I assigned my students is to compose four reactive compositions/soundscapes, each of which is inspired by a different aspect of a single exhibit at the Aquarium of the Pacific, then perform and record the piece at the aquarium in collaboration with the animals.
Once the apps are written and loaded onto devices, we will return to the aquarium, film the composer using the app in front of the display, and record the resulting reactive composition. The composition will then become the soundtrack for the film. We plan to make a documentary as well as art films.
I have been in touch with Marilyn Padilla of the aquarium. She has been very helpful in negotiating releases for the educational uses of our filming and photography. The Aquarium has been very open to our project and approval for the work came in one day! Extraordinary!