Landscape with figures I

Electric bubbles


A sound from FFT distortion of breaking glass I made many years ago is used as an instrument, transposed to microtonal phrases in diverse registers. The sounds are outburst of sinewaves, at different transpositions and speeds, through yet another level of FFT processing in Csound. Sounds are moving like flocks of electric birds through the space, with a variety of reverb types, from dry to resonant. This is the most "electric" and artificial type of sounds involved in Landscape with figures I.


Electric bubbles 16.




Electric bubbles 102.






This group of fragments is performed by dry breaking sounds and bartok pizzicato of strings.  Phrases are created within a range and obscured through time pointers[1] and time scaling,[2] to make phrases less predictable. Sounds are not moving, but placed at random positions along sides of the space, like an orchestra surrounding the audience, with variable reverb types. The sounds are:


  • 1: Breaking glass.[3]
  • 2: Breaking eggs.
  • 3: Breaking wood.
  • 4: Strings Bartok pizzicato.


The scores have been used to generate results. Exact pitches are more relevant to the Bartok pizzicato than to the other sounds. Transpositions are done through FFT with time correction. To recreate these percussive sounds, window sizes are often made smaller than usual. This did not keep all sounds from getting blurred or inaudible.


Breaking 8.

















Breaking 25.


























Breaking 74.




























Distorted breaking


The distorted breaking present a similar set of sounds.


  • 1: Breaking glass.
  • 2: Breaking eggs.
  • 3: Breaking wood.
  • 4: Grasshopper.


In the breaking fragments, the original speed was kept. In this next category, sounds are stretched to many times original length, while FFT window sizes are deliberately set too small. Sounds will react differently. A FFT size of 4096 give some sounds a metallic quality, while window sizes down towards 256 can break sounds into sine waves textures, vaguely resembling the electric bubbles fragments. With a larger pitch range, we can finally hear some gigant grasshoppers.



Distorted breaking 18.






























Distorted breaking 27.



























Distorted breaking 54.


























Distorted breaking 83.





























[1] The Ruben-OM function multiseq-pointer.

[2] The Ruben-OM function time-scaler.

[3] Some of these were recorded by John Hegre.