Spirit Of Place is an ongoing multi-media Frankenstein Sound Lab project, revolving around an experimental computer programme called i2sm.
i2sm creates music – or more properly sound – from images via the medium of MIDI instrument voices. You load your photo, painting, etc, choose a starting point, and go. The programme spirals out from the starting point and each colour it encounters en route produces a musical note. Well, in a nutshell…
What you often get, of course, is a mad assemblege of sqwarks and whistles, but within that some rather neat little riffs and tunes appear. You can save the piece and later edit out the good bits and use them as samples to build a piece of music.
The idea behind Spirit Of Place was to take photos at a few favorite local spots here in North East England and use i2sm to generate pieces of music which perhaps might capture some of the spirit of the place.In most cases we also recorded background sound at the locations. Often its so far back in the mix as to not be obvious – but its there, linking us with a certain place in time and space.
Anyone who has used MIDI sounds will be aware that some are better than others. As a result of experimenting, we’ve found the ones that work best for us are ones like piano, viola, contrabass, xylophone, strings… as a result the pieces tend to sound like something which might best be described as experimental modern classical.
We then decided to try to make videos of each place.
The first of these pieces was generated from a photo of Man Haven Bay, on the South Tyneside coastline, between South Shields and Sunderland. This piece predates the idea of Spirit Of Place, in fact was the genesis of it.
Eventually there will be an album and maybe a DVD too – for more info, visit the Malice In Sunderland website [link in the sidebar >>>].
Meanwhile – here’s Man Haven Bay.