Compound Terrains, by Tom Slater and Jeremy Keenan, is an audiovisual work that emerged from an interrogation of three dimensional audiovisual spatialisation technologies and their role in the production so-called virtual and disembodied spaces. 

By converging laser beam projections with simple graphics and the immersive the audio capabilities of Budapest's 4D sound system, this installation induces an ambiguity of multistable, digital/physical and dis/embodied space. These hybrid spaces suggest different regimes of synaesthesia, knitting sensations together in varying proportions. 

This version of compound Terrains was first shown in April of 2019 at the Spatial Sound Institute in Budapest, Hungary. It consists of 24 lasers, 48 channel sound, and a single video projector.

A 3.5 metre by 2 metre video screen was positioned at the end of the gallery creating the illusion that the laser array continues beyond the confines of the physical space.

This installation is 35m long by 22m wide.

 
 

Scattered Rotations evokes a body suspended within a perpetual overabundance of disjunctive signals in light and sound. The mirrorball 'dances' in response to external signals, but never towards any kind of regular cyclical motion. 

Like a phonograph starting up from zero speed but failing to rotate for long enough to complete a verse, phrase, or song, the sound follows its motion, reproducing the sound according to its fractured timeline.

Simultaneously generating and responding to motion, light and sound, Scattered Rotations produces an inescapable loop wherein the object becomes both the sender and receiver of warped transmissions that constantly transform but never terminate. At its state of potential rest, it is repeatedly impelled to continue this endless cycle of broadcast and reception.

 

The pendulously flung mirrorball bends the light and sound around it, while microphone, light, and orientation sensors register this scattered motion and perpetuate its tangled loop. The interplay which emerges from the disparate elements integrated in Scattered Rotations constitutes a system collapsed into a state of fractured disconnection.

50cm mirrorball, elastic band, microphone, custom audio programming and electronics, high-power servomotors, light sensors, accelerometer, 'disco' samples, sound system, scaffold.

Originally presented in 13 channel sound at Call & Response, London, UK 2017.

 

 
 

Garden of Signals expands upon the use of audio feedback in earlier sound works, forming an autonomous sonic artwork that uses feedback as a sound material and as a process.

Like pieces such as Steve Reich’s Pendulum Music (1968), and Microphone by David Tudor (1973), or the later work of Agostino Di Scipio, Garden of Signals is born from material possibilities at the heart of sound reproduction.

Garden of Signals was initiated with an interest in remote signals, such as mobile telephones, and how they affect the movement of human bodies in physical space when we respond to them. The pervasive multitude of distant signals appears to be a random and invisible process, but has a tangible influence on the domain of the flesh.

The loudness of the feedback coming from each of the 6 speakers is measured, and then influences the movement of each guitar pickup, which further changes the fluctuating loudness of the feedback coming out of the speakers.

In this way, the collective relationship between the sound from the speakers and the movement of the guitar pickups creates continuously shifting patterns of sound. 
Garden of Signals was realised within the framework of the 2012 Artist-in-residence Program of the Gas Natural Fenosa Museum of Contemporary Art (MAC) in A Coruña, Galicia, Spain, and subsequently exhibited at the Sonic Arts Award in Rome.

 

Guitar pickups, speakers, motors, purpose-built code. October/November 2013.

Camera by Juan Lesta: esferobite.com/dsk/

The strange confluence of a moving speaker cone, modified microphones, muted low-frequency feedback and code, Mouth to Ear is a generative audio composition exploring the tonal possibilities of feedback combined with the element of chance in an unstable interaction of changing physical quantities.

Developed specifically for the Call & Response 3D sound system, the work plays with aspects of broadcast, reception, and reproduction around the human response to systems of communication and their pervasive signal networks.

Mouth to Ear is part of a series initiated by the piece Ear to Mouth and continuing with Light Loop, Oscillations in Love and Light and Garden of Signals.

 

Originally presented in 13 channel sound at Call & Response, London, UK 2016.

‘Since many people feel compelled to broadcast, one finds oneself in a state of permanent receptivity’ – Siegfried Kracauer, 1927

 

Crystal Glass Mirror Stone represents a culmination of techniques and explorations in feedback and is inspired by its relationship to life process and flow. Each of the pieces are based around a single recording of audio feedback derived from a self-oscillating system consisting of modified light-sensitive speakers and computer controlled lights.

 

The results were generated using algorithmic structures based on feedback-modelled relationships between different musical parts with minimal structural editing. Crystal Glass Mirror Stone traverses the space between tonal structure and timbral dissonance, sometimes erratically, treating pitched audio feedback as a single tonal unit. There is a periodic narrative to the series, with each recording being subsequently transformed by the next iteration of the process.

 

Crystal Glass Mirror Stone was presented at the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna as hosted by Austrian sound collective TONSPUR, Spazioersetti in Udine, Italy, Cafe OTO in London and Call & Response space at Enclave in South London, where it was auditioned in 13 channel sound.

 

From animal populations to business structures, from global economics to human love, many domains are subject to the possibility of being modelled as feedback systems.

 

In particular, the study of cybernetics takes these subjects to be conceived as interconnected feedback loops between different agents and their environment.

Similarly, feedback is both a possible error inherent in an audio system, a scheme that regulates audio amplifiers, as well as the basis for simple control systems like thermostats.

 

Oscillations in Love and Light takes these ideas as its premise, focusing in particular on the coupling of audio feedback with the notion of modelling human love relationships as continuous feedback loops: two ‘love objects’ imagined as interacting contours in light and sound.

 

The idea is based on prevalent demonstrations of systems dynamics using models of fictional love storiesOscillations in Love and Light was loosely modelled on the relationship between the two main characters of 'Gone With the Wind'.

 

The piece consists of modified audio amplifiers with light-sensitive feedback, digitally controlled lights, and purpose-built audio processing code.

 

At Titanik Gallery in Turku, Finland, 2013.

 

Scripts is a collection of 4 pieces based around sounds and techniques recorded from and utilised in various physical works, but taking the form of fixed-media music.

Released in 2017 on For/wind.

 

Ear to Mouth is a single speaker as an animated feedback object, with four microphones and a speaker creating feedback and controlling the motion of the speaker, which in turn defines the level of the feedback, which then influences the movement of the speaker, which again controls the level of feedback. The feedback is processed using a live digital input which is also influenced by the motion of the speaker and the sound it produces.

This work seeks to imagine the speaking and listening body distilled to a conversation between its basic elements - the ear and the mouth.
 
Speaker, motors, microphones, microcontroller, custom code. 

Originally presented in 5 channel sound at Goldsmiths College, London, UK 2009.

 

North Sea Crossing and River Lee Navigation are two pieces based on recordings made crossing the North Sea by ferry and a boat journey on the London River Lee Navigation. Waves, engines, birds, voices, all processed by various degrees to form the composition. Sharp contrast is interchanged with slow evolution, the structure of the piece being informed by both the immediate timbre of the sounds, as well as through the interpretation of abstract external reference to elements such as the changing velocity of the craft, the perceived turbulence of the water, and the opening and closing of locks on the river. These compositional decisions were made freely, mostly in relation to my own memories of each journey.

 

Themes of motion and transportation motivate these pieces. Certeau’s description of the perceptual distortion occurring in train journeys is especially close to the experience of travel inspiring North Sea Crossing and River Lee Navigation. Between the confined, static space of the train and its hyper-mobile exterior, there resounds:

 

"a sort of rubbing together of spaces at the vanishing points of their frontier. These junctions have no place…they can only be heard as a single stream of sounds, so continuous is the tearing off that annihilates the points through which it passes."

 

North Sea Crossing was presented in 8 channel sound. at James Taylor Gallery, London, UK 2010. 

 

 

 

172 Warning Bells is a generative audio work that seeks to question the relationship between power and sound production. Audio material is drawn from Emergency Alert Signal tones, the same tones to be heard in the event of an emergency through the 172 sirens in and around the Indian Point Plant, a nuclear plant just outside New York City. The plant supplies around one third of the city’s power. Many of the sounds heard as part of the piece have been processed and transformed using Supercollider with power consumption of the installation itself informing which sounds are heard. The piece was originally conceived and presented in 8 channel sound at Scholes Gallery as part of Code of Contingency, New York, USA 2012.

 

 

35MW is a generative, 4 channel sound installation first presented at Agency Gallery in South London, UK, using the SELCHP electricity plant as a data source.
 

The SELCHP is a major incineration plant located in South Bermondsey near the gallery. Data from the power output of the plant and power consumption of the gallery is used to inform the resultant audio of the work at any given time. As such 35MW is a sonic representation of the energy consumed by the works in the show throughout its duration. 

 

 

Raw and treated magnetic pickup recordings from components of the audio system generating the work itself (power supplies, laptops). 

 

Magnetic coil pickups are placed on each of 4 speakers. A generative feedback-based system plays back the recordings based on the analysed output of the speakers. 

 

Magnetic pickups, preamplifiers, SuperCollider code.

 
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A collaboration between textile artist Myrto Karanika and sound artist Jeremy Keenan, Peacock explores relations between space and bodily expression through the novel use of technology and traditional art practices such as printmaking, stitching and embroidery. The work creates a sense of continuity that joins ongoing developments in the field of interactive artistic production with the long history of rug making.

 

Reflecting the textile references Myrto grew up with, Peacock’s pattern is a contemporary take on motifs one frequently comes across in traditional post-Byzantine textile craft. It interprets themes underpinning Greek folk art through the use of bright, bold colours and the depiction of floral and faunal elements that bear a symbolic cultural significance.

 

The work’s highly multisensory nature asks to be explored through the eyes, the hands, the limbs and the whole of the body; the rug has a transitional quality that creates space within space and signifies a plateau for different types of engagement and qualitative attention.

 

As different relations between people’s activities form and dissolve over time, they are sonically communicated through an evolving soundscape, the composition of which relies on the technology underlying the tactile sensitivity of the rug. The flow of data generated by people’s physical interaction with Peacock is passed to custom sound software created by Jeremy. As the rug is being walked on, touched, stroked, and pressed, the sound software encodes these gestures on different spatial and temporal scales, continuously generating sonic output that ranges from short, staccato bursts to expansive, harmonic sound fields.

 

Presented at the Kaunas Biennial, Lithuania, 2015 in 4 channel sound.

 

Strings is an immersive installation that deals with issues across the fields of craft, textile technologies, sonic art and responsive design. The work is a collaboration between artist Myrto Karanika and Jeremy Keenan. It investigates bidirectional relations within everyday surroundings, focusing on the relationships between space, texture, and bodily expression, attempting to exploit them through a combination of innovative soft technologies and traditional art practices such as weaving, printmaking and embroidery. The artwork focuses on the development of a textile system that enables people to experience an immersive physical environment by using analogies of the human skin and nervous system.

 

More specifically, the somatosensory system (outer skin, nervous system, brain) is being examined in the context of a responsive artwork, and is translated into a design system (haptic qualities, textile structure, programming). The physical interface is constructed from cotton micro-tulle and a number of conductive threads connected to an Arduino microcontroller, and is layered with a translucent silk organza that has been digitally printed and hand-embroidered with a variety of stitches and materials.

 

This results in a highly haptic and textured surface, with the conductive threads acting as nerves and the processed organza acting as skin. In this way, Strings simulates a living textile organism that responds to people’s bodily engagement in a tangible, tactile manner. People’s gestural engagements with the textile, interpreted as a series of touched cross-sections of conductive thread, are passed to the Strings software to generate sound according to the performed gestures. Presented at FILE Festival, Brazil, 2010, and Shunt Lounge, 2009 in 4 channel sound.

 

Foley pit, handheld objects, microphones, video clips, 4 speakers, contact microphones, camera tracking, Max/MSP programming. With Matt Lewis. Exhibited at Shunt Lounge, London, 2008.

 

North Sea Crossing and River Lee Navigation are two pieces based on recordings made crossing the North Sea by ferry and a boat journey on the London River Lee Navigation. Waves, engines, birds, voices, all processed by various degrees to form the composition. Sharp contrast is interchanged with slow evolution, the structure of the piece being informed by both the immediate timbre of the sounds, as well as through the interpretation of abstract external reference to elements such as the changing velocity of the craft, the perceived turbulence of the water, and the opening and closing of locks on the river. These compositional decisions were made freely, mostly in relation to my own memories of each journey.

 

Themes of motion and transportation motivate these pieces. Certeau’s description of the perceptual distortion occurring in train journeys is especially close to the experience of travel inspiring North Sea Crossing and River Lee Navigation. Between the confined, static space of the train and its hyper-mobile exterior, there resounds:

 

"a sort of rubbing together of spaces at the vanishing points of their frontier. These junctions have no place…they can only be heard as a single stream of sounds, so continuous is the tearing off that annihilates the points through which it passes."

 

River Lee Navigation was presented at Roundhouse, London as a part of NetAudioLondon in 8 channel sound. The piece was later presented in 12 channel sound as a part of Sho-Zyg at St. James Hatcham Church, London.

 

 

 

Artist Jacob Kirkegaard and Jeremy Keenan with sonic arts collective Call & Response collaborated to create a sound installation that invites the audience to experience the hidden underworld of London’s water system, originally presented in 13 channel sound.

 

The project takes the work of seventeenth century alchemist and scientist Athanasius Kircher as inspiration. Kircher was a polymath and inventor, who researched fields as diverse as medicine and Egyptology, and designed and constructed wondrous sound and vision automatons. These included a collection of so called speaking statues whose spiral mouths would lead out into the streets of Rome like giant trumpets. In this way the speaking trumpets or ‘hearing lens’ would reveal the cacophony of Rome to the listener. London Subterraneous aims to link Kircher’s ‘speaking trumpets’ with his fascination of geology and underground reverberations and find a way to explore London’s mundus subterraneous.

 

For this project, special microphones were used to access sounds from a series of “stink pipes” that connect the city’s familiar terrestrial environment to a lesser-known complex network of sewers and rivers below. The towering, hollow pipes, now rusting fixtures dotted across London erected as safety valves to vent excess toxic gases along a newly built Victorian sewer network in the 1860s allow us to connect through our past and eavesdrop on the capital’s underground world. The resultant exhibition is a portrait of some of the sounds created below ground and through the pipes themselves.

 

Jacob Kirkegaard said: 

“Although these stink pipes are nowadays "useless" this work aims to reveal them as poles of sound, or as singing flutes. In a way these are tones from the past."

 

Light Loop consists of a room full of 16 guitar amplifiers,16 guitar pickups modified with light sensors, a motor controlled moving head lamp, 4 amplitude sensors and a microcontroller.

The light from the moving lamp shines on the light sensors, causing feedback at the amplifiers.

 

The feedback is picked up by the amplitude sensors, which control the movement of the lamp. The changing light from the lamp causes new patterns of audio feedback, which trigger subsequent movement of the lamp...

 

 

Immaterial utilises sound garnered from the Institute of Making in London, with direct recordings of engineered materials exposing the raw process of The title track utilises sound garnered from the Institute of Making in London, with direct recordings of engineered materials exposing the raw process of extracting the composition from recorded sound.

 

Immaterial  is inspired by the tension between the concrete presence of material objects and the affective experience of them as things in the the world.

 

Special thanks to Zoe Laughlin from the Institute of Making.

 

Auditioned with Call & Response as a part of Hearing Shapes, Bethnal Green Library, 2012. originally presented in 8 channel sound.

 

From Honey To Ashes is a performance based electronic music trio consisting of Matt Lewis, Ed Perkins and Jeremy Keenan. The group uses custom software and hardware to create networked improvised performances.

 

From Honey To Ashes have performed across the UK since 2006, at places like SARC in Belfast and Horse Hospital in London.

 

Hot licks is a real time mobile sonic art project using live audio input from inside and around an operating ice-cream van. A part of Matt Lewis’ project Mr. Shordy.

 

Mr. Shordy is a mobile sound project by Matt Lewis in an Ice cream van traveling around the streets of N1 London. The ice-cream van forms an integral backdrop to the British summer. Though not always seen, its familiar chimes form an important presence in local streets.

 

 

An immersive, multi-stage audiovisual installation involving motion tracking, remote instructions to dancers via wireless headphones, and field recordings of domestic activities. Exposing Traces invites an exploration of the hidden world of internal spaces through immersive audio-visual experience. It is an exploration of the commonality between unseen human activities that often occur in close proximity to one another in urban dwellings, and the physical barriers by which they are either perceptually distorted or concealed completely. With Helene Cooper.

 

Named for Alvin Lucier’s 1969 sound work I am Sitting in a Room, this piece engages with aspects of sound recording practice, cultural preservation and perceptions of nature, as well as notions of ownership and distribution of media in relation to social space.

 

The work was created from 3 sound recordings made at the Wysing Arts Centre, played back in different spaces and re-recorded multiple times, allowing material features of the recording process and the space of audition to seep back into the domain of listening, reversing the conventional relationship between signal and noise, whereby the presence of the medium normally erases itself. The sound artist's 'Stairway to Heaven'. Obligatory rendition.

 

With Matt Lewis, for Call & Response.

 

Upside Down Umbrella (2001-2007) - guitar, synthesis and sequenced patterns. With Alex Abalos (Guitar)

Mouth to Ear 1