Native Modulations

New Media Installation

Fascinated by the eye-catching ‘bush graffiti’ of the native Scribbly Gum, I felt an urge to decipher its mysterious language.  With a background in audio production, I noticed similarities between these bark markings and the waveform shapes that are encountered when visualising sound. Taking detailed measurements, photos and video footage of the ‘scribbles’, I used these shapes to be primary modulators for an array of chosen sound sources.

The sounds you hear pulsing from the tree featured in the video are the result of synthesised tones being manipulated by the tree’s markings.  Each scribble has a distinctive shape and length that creates unique filtering and note duration. A base tuning of A4=432Hz is used, which is often considered to be a harmonic intonation of nature and results in a more organic sound not usually found in everyday music. The outcome allows one to engage multiple senses in connecting with the deeper beauty of this iconic tree.

This piece was selected as a New Media finalist for the 2015 Sunshine Coast Art Prize.