Singing and Electroacoustic Composition

Electroacoustic Composition

I have created many Electroacoustic composititions as a part of my classwork. Please check out a few of them below!

Pandemic!: Data Sonification Composition

The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic has been an event of unprecedented size that has affected people all around the world. The virus, belonging to the coronavirus group of viruses, originated in Wuhan, China, and causes respiratory symptoms in the affected. The virus itself has spread in an exponential manner, with 213 countries and territories now claiming cases of the virus. Many countries have established quarantines and lockdowns in an attempt to control the spread, which has led to flattening the curve of spread. However, the number of cases continues to rise, as no vaccine or cure has been found to date.

Pandemic! is an electro-acoustic composition that intends to represent the global pandemic in a sonic medium. This piece features multiple components, with the basis of the sound being algorithmic composition. SuperCollider was used to algorithmically represent the data of confirmed cases in various countries through sound, and Logic Pro X was used to arrange and apply various electroacoustic composition techniques. The countries represented are the United States, Brazil, China, Italy, Iran, and India, which are represented by the notes D, E, C, A, G, F respectively. SuperCollider was used to change properties of these tones, specifically the amplitude and the duration of the grains used in granular synthesis. The SuperCollider code used in the composition of this piece can be found here.

The foreground of the composition features news clips that represent major news events over the timeline of this composition. These include some countries finding their first cases, and government responses to the pandemic. These news clips are placed in chronological order and appear in the composition relative to the date that they aired. Finally, additional sound effects are added as ornamentation to provide more depth to the soundscape and theming of the composition.


Soundmass Composition

This is a soundmass composition, which depends on a vertical workflow to layer and texture various sounds upon each other to create impact and momentum. Multiple processing techniques were used in the creation of this composition, including granular synthesis, tremolo effects, and reverb processing. These effects were applied to mundane everyday sounds from my sound library, including fans running, keys jangling, and ping pong balls dropping.

The composition itself utilizes a mix of percussive and sustained tones to provide variety in the soundscape. The overall structure of the composition is reminiscent of a tidal wave, as the composition slowly gains "mass" before crashing and eventually dissipating into silence.

Soundmass Composition:

Text Sound Composition

This composition uses spoken text as the primary audio source. The human voice is used as the object sonore, or the source material, and serves as an exploration of modifying the voice in the context of an electroacoustic composition

For my Text-Sound Composition, I used a transcript of the Apple iPhone 7 keynote, specifically the portion in which they introduce the AirPods. The decision to remove the headphone jack was extremely controversial at the time, and Apple as a company very rarely admits their mistakes and instead create justifications for any controversial decisions they make. The thesis of my composition is how keynote speeches like these use carefully selected buzzwords to convince the consumers and the press that they have everything carefully planned out.

Each time a buzzword is said, I begin repeating that word in the composition along with multiple processing techniques applied to it. The main processing techniques I used were pitch shifting, granular synthesis, echoing, and the application of tremolo. I created multiple layers of each soundbite and applied these processing techniques with variations between each layer so that it would create a chaotic soundscape.

Ultimately, this composition is a little hypocritical, as I own many apple products myself. However, I thought it was a somewhat humorous reaction to the pompousness of Apple’s keynote, especially as they boasted their “courage” in removing the headphone jack.

Text Sound Composition:

Economy of Source Material Composition

This composition was created entirely with only two samples: a tape measure shuffle and a viola bow. I chose these two samples because the first gives me more percussive elements and the second gives me a pitch that I can modify. These samples were modified with various alectroacoustic processing techniques to create this composition.

While writing the song, I was reminded of sci-fi elements and I designed the intro as a spaceship increasing in speed and suddenly crashing at the climax of the song. The second half is much eerier to represent the uncertainty of what happens after the space ship crashes.

Economy of Source Material Composition:

Singing Covers

I have been singing for most of my life and I especialy enjoy singing Hindi and Tamil songs. Check out a few of my covers below!

A Cappella Music

A Cappella was a big part of my college experience! Check out some songs and videos I made with my group, Chai Town!