To install dreamSTATE's waveforms ambient electronic soundscape at Gegenort - The Virtual Mine as a virtual environment evoking both water, one of Canada's important natural resources, and the vast open spaces of the Canadian wilderness. The intent of the installation will be to transport visitors into a state of contemplative relaxation, renewing their personal energy in an infinitely evolving and liquid soundscape being piped in directly from dreamSTATE's website.
The selling of Canadian water and space is currently a controversial political subject as the country is in danger of losing control of these precious resources through precedents set in international trade agreements. As mankind expands, pure water and space are disappearing quickly to the unrelenting demands and intrusions of industry, technology and pollution. In this installation the sounds of Canada's water and wilderness, and the deep ambient music they inspired, will be mined, exploited and sold, but the original natural resources will remain untouched by this process. This is a true renewable resource as only virtual copies of these resources will be mined. Water will remain in the lakes and rivers and space will not be encroached upon.
The audio portion of the waveforms installation is composed of field recordings and synthesized sounds made by the Canadian duo Scott McGregor Moore and Jamie Todd who make up the ambient electronic music group dreamSTATE. By mixing their recordings of nature with their ambient soundscapes, dreamSTATE created a sonic environment which emulates the feeling of being surrounded by the beautiful and haunting vastness of the Canadian outdoor space.
The visual portion of the installation will emulate the chaotic beauty of the aurora borealis which is currently bathing the Canadian space with light due to the solar maximus we are experiencing. This effect will be created via light, smoke and mirrors and dreamSTATE will require the assistance and input from the Gegenort artistic team for implementation.
dreamSTATE will update and further develop the synthesized sounds and field recordings, which combine to make up the audio content of the waveforms soundscape, while the installation is mounted at Gegenort so that the resource is being renewed as they further mine the resulting soundscape. As the installation will be broadcast via the web, dreamSTATE will co-ordinate a performance in Toronto where they will play along with streamed audio from the installation at Gegenort - The Virtual Mine. The resulting mix of dreamSTATE playing live in Toronto along with the waveforms installation playing live in Germany will also be streamed back to the web. If budgets and technology allow, video from both Gegenort and Toronto could also be streamed. This Escher Effect will further extend the global reach of the resources being mined at Gegenort as dreamSTATE interacts with the installation to create another version of waveforms that is restreamed to the world.
Description & History of waveforms the ambient installation
waveforms is an infinitely evolving, ambient, quadraphonic soundscape that was created by dreamSTATE to be installed in The H5 Project holographic gallery located in Toronto Canada, where it played continuously from December 1996 to July 1997. In essence, the waveforms installation is a random musical arrangement generator which automatically creates an ever-changing sound environment by shuffling and rejuxtaposing its parts on a continual basis. As The H5 Project was located in Toronto's Beaches community (an oasis amidst the hustle of Toronto's central core), dreamSTATE combined natural sounds from their field recordings like water lapping up on the shore of a beach, waves crashing on rocks, the cries of birds and the singing of night creatures with the fluid electronic music they inspired, to create the sonic content which the system randomly arranges.
The waveforms ambient soundscape installation is designed to blend into the environment in which it is fitted. At The H5 Project, the sounds of the street (people and pets going about their day to day activities, electric streetcars rumbling along rails and general traffic and street noise) merged with the sounds of the installation to create many beautiful instances of syncronicity. To capture this feeling of the installation, dreamSTATE utilized a Calrec Soundfield microphone to record both the sounds of the installation and the sounds of the surrounding street ambience when they made the recording of waveforms for their CD "Between Realities". MP3 samples of the waveforms installation at The H5 Project may be found at www.mp3.com/stations/waveforms for download or realtime streaming.
The core system utilized for this initial mounting of the waveforms installation was three minidisc players set to shuffle and infinite loop modes. Each machine randomly played back different elements of the waveforms piece, which were designed to interact with each other in any juxtaposition. The outputs of the players were assigned to the speakers of a quadraphonic sound system which placed the listener within a continually changing soundscape.
Implementation of waveforms at Gegenort
For Gegenort - The Virtual Mine, dreamSTATE proposes to install waveforms on three webconnected computers placed inside one of the containers. The computers will randomly arrange three streams of dreamSTATE's various field and studio recordings being piped live over the Internet into a fresh and everchanging ambient soundscape which will be played through a quadraphonic sound system in the container. The resulting mix `manufactured' from these raw materials will then be piped back out onto the Internet though a fourth computer. If budgets and technology are available video could be streamed from the container as well. To enhance and renew the resource dreamSTATE will update the program material via their web connection on a regular basis so that the content will evolve throughout the exhibition.
In order to create the visual effect, the container floor will be painted blue and white in a rippled fashion to emulate the water and waves motif. To emulate the natural light show of the Aurora Borealis, the walls and ceiling of the container will be completely covered with crumpled pieces of mylar (or some other low cost reflective pliable material) to create a reflective enclosure. A number of multi-coloured vari-lights will be placed and aimed to dance light around the reflective surface thereby creating the illusion of the Northern Lights. dreamSTATE encourages the creativity of the Gegenort artists to assist us in creating and achieving this effect. A fog machine could be utilized to add a fog-like mist in the container to further the illusion of being transported to the natural beauty of the Canadian outdoor spaces. (An attendant would then be required in the container for safety reasons.)
To accommodate visitors to the container, couches, comfy chairs and pillows should be placed in the center of the container. By providing a comfortable environment, the container will serve as a chillout spot for visitors (and staff) to relax in during their visit to the site.
To mount waveforms at Gegenort The Virtual Mine. dreamSTATE will require the following.
5 PC Pentium III Computers each with 256m Ram, 600mhz processor,
16 bit audio cards, running Windows 2000 and connected to the internet via a stable high speed connection. Three computers are required to run waveforms , one to stream the resulting audio mix back to the web and one to connect to cdbaby.com as a kiosk to purchase dreamSTATE's "Between Realities" CD.
1 small four bus digital audio mixer with a minimum of 6 input channels
1 surround receiver with 5.1 audio inputs
4 mid sized matched speakers with stands
2 or 3 coloured variable moving lights
fog machine and attendant misc. wires and connectors
enough mylar to cover the inside walls and ceiling of the container to create an uneven cave like reflective surface
blue and white paint to create a water like effect on the floor of the container comfortable couches, chairs and pillows for staff and guests to relax and chill
the creativity, ideas and labour of the Gegenort resident artistic team to assist in creating the illusion
Please note that waveforms was designed to be a flexible piece that can be executed in many different ways.
The system described here can be downsized with fewer options to meet budget and logistical restrictions.
Entangled in patch cords, dreamSTATE's Scott McGregor Moore and Jamie Todd were submerged in the studio for many years, creating their evolving sound environments with a collection of vintage and modern synthesizers. The first public expression of their electronic explorations was waveforms, an ambient soundscape installation. This everchanging, multi-speaker creation played continuously for six months at The H5 Project, a holographic art gallery in Toronto. dreamSTATE's first CD release "Between Realities" captures a one hour section of the piece in a 'live microphone' recording which merges waveforms' electronic textures with the urban soundscape of the street outside.
Still working in the deep end of the ambient pool, dreamSTATE surfaced to perform their atmospherics live with small powerful synthesizer systems. Fresh from live appearances at the World Electronic Music Festival, Interference Orange and the Junction Arts Festival, they celebrated the launch of their first CD with an ambient soundscape performance at Toronto's WEAVE nightclub. Celebrating the year 2000, the duo performed a chapter each month of the Drone Cycle 2000 which was a tour through the 12 notes of the chromatic scale as foundations for live ambient improvisations with a series of special guests. The Drone Cycle 2000 was performed at The Ambient Ping which is Toronto's regular live ambient performance event. Currently dreamSTATE has returned to the studio and is working on assembling an album of their live recordings.