ImponderableSound Live: SuiteSpot

Flynn, Justine orcid iconORCID: 0000-0003-3037-5009 (2022) ImponderableSound Live: SuiteSpot. [Show/Exhibition]

[thumbnail of Poster for ImponderableSound Live: SuiteSpot. Performed 6/06/22]
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The aim of this project was to investigate how bass frequency vibration can be applied as an intervention to encourage new and original techniques and insights towards the creation of sonic art and to create new and original performances that utilise Bass frequencies.

Using bass frequency vibration has the potential to cause a different way of playing for an instrumentalist, movement practitioner and vocalist when composing and performing experimental music. Whilst other artists have explored the vibrational nature of Bass frequencies, using bass vibration solely as an intervention to create a new sonic art has not yet been considered.

The methodology used to investigate this was a combination of a practice-as-research methodology, and the implementation of what I have defined as the ImponderableSound Live spiral (ISL Spiral), which is adapted from action research, experiential learning, and reflective models.

An innovative feature of his project was investigating how bass frequencies work in this context. Different bass interventions were discovered by using a synthesised sine wave and triangular wave amplified through a sub-woofer and bass guitar feedback, played to an improvising ensemble which consisted of a violinist, viola player, a cellist, and a dancer. The effects of this intervention were documented and showed increased adoption of a range of instrumental techniques such as double stops, glissando and vocal vibrato. The process culminated in a live performance named ImponderableSound Live: Suite Spot.

This study showed that the use of bass frequency interventions in group improvisation led to subtle rather than dramatic effects on instrumental and other performance techniques, rather that the ‘finger in the socket’ reaction that my previous studies using sub bass frequencies led me to expect. However, within the composition the intentional dominance of the bass, alongside the instrumentalists, created a uniqueness in and of itself, with its own definable characteristics as a result, and proved to be an immersive and connective experience for both audience and co-collaborator. This new approach to composition could be adopted and adapted by other practitioners involved in the creation of sonic art and provides a contribution to knowledge of bass intervention within the field.

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