ITP THEN: SOUNDS OF THE 21ST CENTURY

And it’s a wrap.

Go listen to the sound-walk first before you read ahead.

Ok done? Now let’s go.

Continuing from where we left off, our project went pretty smoothly in creating a similar soundscape even though we were working on separate sections. We thought we were home high and dry before Mr. Murphy showed up. One of our project files was saved at 44.1kHz and the other two were at 48kHz. We ended up exporting one file as a separate audio file and inserted it before the other but it did leave a bad taste in the mouth. We are still not sure of a better solution but this worked well for our purposes for now.

Reflecting on the whole experience, I feel that my biggest gripe with the whole sound-walk was the ending. We didn’t really know how to end it so we invoked Deus-Red Machina and added her speech at the end (Bless her soul!). It was cliched and hokily sentimental but it was a desperate Hail Mary to finish the assignment on time.

Another challenge was timing it right with the elevators (and other spaces which have heavy, unpredictable footfall) The same problem was common with other groups’ sound-walks that we listened to. Providing a visual guide, providing explicit instructions and timing the speech with pauses are workarounds that most sound-walk designers use but I believe that there is quite a unused potential to use the sensors inside a smartphone to time and trigger sound experiences just right. There is a microphone that listens, a GPS that tracks you, an accelerometer that knows you orientation and som many other sensors that are stuffed in there! If we are putting up with all this tracking, might as well put it to some good use.

My favorite part was our world-building. Too many futuristic scenarios focus on pure utopias or dystopias and our interpretation felt a lot more mundane yet believable that I really enjoyed. And the description of the toilets! That was really inspired.

All in all, this was such a blast with 2 exceptionally lovely people that I really wanted to keep working them for all assignments. There was an unused idea for a speculative futuristic sound walk on an injectable male contraceptive and its effect on society. Hmm, stored for future reference.

Currently Listening: When the curtain falls- Greta Van Fleet