All posts by Arnelle Etienne

Group 5 Final Project- “Creation and Sustenance”

Visuals: Raphaȅl mentioned the Montreal-based visual artist Sabrina Ratté when we were first thinking about visuals. We looked into her working methods and the concept of visual synthesizers was alluring to us. However, we could not get access to any visual synthesizers for the time being. But we still enjoyed the idea of using some electronic hardware for the visual component of our project. We started talking about doing a collage both visually and sonically.

The original idea was to have each of us record ourselves singing or playing instruments, associate the sound pieces with video clips, and have them both work like rain drops randomly triggered. As we started working on it, we started having doubts about this idea and it’s merit sound-wise. Raphaȅl had the idea of using an oscilloscope for visuals, which branched from the interest in visual synthesizers. We were able to get inputs from the microphone and have it show up on the oscilloscope in a visually interesting way. Since the oscilloscope resets every time it is turned off, we decided it was a better idea to record its reaction to sound ahead of time so we don’t have to tweak the setting during setup for the performance. Then Raphaȅl edited the visuals together to make a beautiful video. We had the oscilloscope in front of the audience during our performance to hint its usage in our visuals.

Sound: For the sound component of our project, we decided to go with the collage style. Cleo, Sean, and Jordan all worked on a short piece of collage-inspired composition, making use of Kyoko’s violin clips and Arnelle’s vocals. Arnelle then pieced all three individual parts together and read poetries by Tao Lin during our performance to transition between the pieces and to add to the collage theme we were going for. The sound and visuals were supposed to match up more in theme than with individual notes.











Music Pieces

I originally wanted to give some sort of deep, insightful sounds for this, but I kind of just want to post two songs that I like.


The first is Slow Coming by Benjamin Booker.

I love how his voice kind of whistles at 1:07.


The next is The Green Twins by Nick Hakim (the musical love of my life[okay, one of many. But he’s definitely at the top]).




By Steven MacDonald, Sean Yang, and Arnelle Etienne

We wanted to take an alternative approach to this project and record sounds in an underwater environment.

We recorded a lot of the sounds that we used in our project with the Zoom H1 Digital Recorder. In order to not damage it, we encased it in three heavy-duty sandwich bags. We then weighed it down (on the inside using metal, and on the outside using a glass bowl) so it could remain submerged. The bowl doubled as a noise maker.


We proceeded to make different sounds by disturbing the box that contained the water, playing music to be recorded by the Zoom recorder, splashing, etc.


We repeated this process with Korg CM-200 contact mics, which are actually waterproof. We ended up not using as many sounds from that recording session.5cb92afb6953e3a4a8d9505f1067a0b2_pc

(image from:


After harvesting sound samples, Sean composed the track and made an accompanying video.


(images for video grabbed from:


Once we had the track and video, Steven worked on the ambisonic sound structure. 


That resulted in our final product:

Arnelle-Interesting Sound(s)

This sound always reminds me of awkward moments in class after lunch. If the class after lunch period was extremely quiet, one could hear a chorus of digesting stomachs. That’s normally a sound that gets ignored or covered up, but occasionally, it pushes through and sounds both gross and glorious.

When I searched for digestion recordings, I also came across this meditation tone which is supposed to help with intestine problems. Listen with headphones.

…that’s definitely interesting.