Archive for October, 2013

Naad (it is said that OM or AUM is the uttering of Naad. Obviously Ahad but potentially Anahad).

Friday, October 25th, 2013

The word Naad simply means sound. The word Yoga means union or “to yoke.” Union with sound is the goal of Naad Yoga. To understand what that means we have to think about the nature of sound itself.
In yogic terminology there are two kinds of sounds in the Universe, Ahad sounds and Anahad sounds. Ahad sounds are sounds created by something striking something else. If I pluck the “A” string of my guitar, it will vibrate 440 times per second, creating a vibration in the surrounding air that transfers that exact vibratory rate into the surrounding environment. That is an Ahad sound. The wind blowing through the trees, the breath striking the vocal chords and mouth—these are Ahad sounds. Ahad sound vibration must travel through matter, because these sound vibrations are transmitted through the movement of molecular structures.
Anahad literally means the un-struck melody. In yogic cosmology and science it is said that the Universe is made of sound. All matter is vibrating at certain frequencies. Rocks and stones have a very slow and low frequency. Color and light have a high frequency and can travel through the vacuum of space. Beyond all physical phenomena and matter is the primal creative sound vibration that began the creation. In Christianity it is called The Word. Sikhs call it the Naad. It is what scientists call “Cosmic radiation”—the constantly creative sound left over from the Big Bang. Yogis call it Anahad. Whatever one calls it, it is constantly vibrating, creating, and expanding the Universe—infinitely, endlessly.

Matter and Memory (just something that got me thinking…)

Friday, October 25th, 2013

The less visual elements of a space, like negotiation, function and habit layer the experiences and help create the images we hold and apply to other spaces. Therefore the memories and expectations of the room guide our actions.

Have you ever tried to place the room you are in in another building, country or context? If so, does the space still look the same? Imagine for a moment that the place you are reading this in, is elsewhere. Override the memory of getting to this space, the presumed knowledge and legacy you think you have knowledge of, override it and see what it does to the image of the space. Release the space from its historic trace. Do away with the image you project upon it and see beyond the layers of associations and suggestive connections.

We place ourselves at the point of view of a mind unaware of the disputes between philosophers. Such a mind would naturally believe that matter exists just as it is perceived; and, since it is perceived as an image, the mind would make of it, in itself, an image.

Henri Bergson
Matter and Memory
New York , Zone books. 1991

A Walk In The Woods

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2013

We had an interesting time with Sam last Thursday and visited several locations including a pine woodland, a derelict Georgian mansion and a subway. The pine wood presented a classic case of perception over reality, as we were perceiving an interesting audio and visual experience the reality was we were being eaten to death by nasty biting little insects. It was interesting to hear the tabla out in the open, its rhythmic repetition reminiscent of the vOICe and its scanning interpretation of the environment. The pine wood presented some interesting rhythmic audio from the vOICe but it was impossible to maintain a constant rhythm without a tripod as the vOICe changes its interpretation with even the very smallest movement of the camera. While in the wood I also took the opportunity to try the vOICe with some feedback loops. This was not very successful as the scanning of the program is a bit slow and the images a bit blocky to produce any really interesting results.

I’m still finding it hard to relate to vOICe having only properly used it the once, it is a bit like being beaten around the senses with a baseball bat the first time you use it. It is fascinating and I would love to be able to use it properly but it is hard work and a long learning process. In relation to the question “How do we perceive our environment through sound & how can we interpret that for an audience?” this is also something of an unusual ask as a lighting designer. The usual task is to transform a space with light, the space generally having fairly rigid criteria in relation to the transformation. Interpreting sound with light is something that has gone on for hundreds of years firstly through firework displays and latterly with the development of rock ‘n’ roll and the pop concert, but again this takes on a fairly rigid production structure. Perceptions of the environment are also represented with light in theatrical productions but again this takes on a fairly rigid production structure. The direct interpretation of sound by light was developed in the late sixties with the creation of the electronic sound to light unit, much beloved by the mobile DJs of the seventies, three different coloured lights in a box would flash dependent on the relative levels of bass, mid and treble frequencies in a sound source. In its simplicity the sound to light unit is very similar to the vOICe with its specific algorithm for the representation of what it sees through its camera, but although a elaborate sound to light unit can give us a lot of information about the sounds in our environment, like the vOICe, unless we are trained to understand what that information is telling us it is very little use in helping us understand our surounding.

5d21300200009     5d21300200033     5d21300200045