Digital Portfolio for The University of Miami
Quilt - 2023
My mother, Karen Frederickson, is a fiber artist. She knits, sews, rug-hooks, and quilts. I grew up wearing hats and sweaters she knitted, and sleeping under quilts she made. The album Quilt follows the production of a quilt her and I designed. After designing the quilt and selecting the fabric, my mother began the long process of producing the quilt. I recorded the sounds of the process (ironing, cutting, sewing, and quilting) along with the sounds of us talking - about quilting, about the cat. Those recordings were cut into samples which I reimagined and turned into textures and instruments.
After the quilt was finished, I began writing music for the piano and percussion quartet Yarn/Wire based off of the patterns found within the quilt. The arrangement of colors, the rhythm of the cuts were turned into lines that generated gestures, sections, or harmonies. Over multiple recording sessions spaced out over multiple months, Yarn/Wire and I recorded those ideas, improvised, and searched for ways to interpret rhythmic cycles. These recordings were edited, sampled and cataloged before being stretched, reversed, rearranged and resampled.
The two sound worlds, the sounds from the sewing machine and the sounds from the Yarn/Wire recording sessions were collaged to create the album Quilt. Aside from a few simple synthesizer sounds, all of the sounds on the album originated either in my mom’s quilting studio or in the recording studio. Each track on the album contains sounds from both the quilting and Yarn/Wire. The track's names come from quilting terms, and the cover art and artwork associated with the album come from the quilt at the center of the album.
- Composer / Generative system builder
- Recording Session Engineer and Producer
- Audio Editor and Mixer
Here to Hear // Hear to Here is an interactive audio-based installation that uses the participants' voices as triggers for generative musical events. When entering the installation, participants find a darkened room with six lounge chairs. On each chair is a pair of headphones and a microphone. When participants put on the headphones, they hear a recording explaining the process: hear a pitch, sing that pitch, experience the resulting music.
Here to Hear // Hear to Here runs on a MaxMSP patch that runs on a computer in the installation space. The patch plays a pitch in the participants headphones, then tracks the pitch the participant sings. When they are close enough to the pitch, the patch plays a unique combination of layers including recordings of phrases I composed for the choir The Crossing, synth pads, synth bass, and electronic percussion.
The installation engages with questions I have around access to music making and how art is experienced and shared. The first question is who has access to making music. The installation started as an exercise in thinking how I could create an environment for non-musicians to be active participants in music making. By using the voice as an input, I created the opportunity for nearly anyone to engage with the process of making music. The second question is how art is experienced and shared. Art institutions have begun embracing the idea of their visitors sharing photos and videos of their visits on social media. Some have gone as far as to curate exhibitions centered around art that easily translates to social media. I designed Here to Hear // Hear to Here to be difficult for participants to share their experiences. In doing so, I wanted the participants to focus on experiencing the moment, and not considering how to frame their experience for social media.
- Recording session engineer
- Max application designer
- Audio editor / mixer
- Installation designer
A commission from the Ciompi Quartet coincided with a time when I was deeply interested in generative systems, expansive phrases with evolving harmonies, and the original series of Star Trek (the title "I was thinking about the buffalo" comes from the end of the first episode with Captain James T. Kirk).
I worked closely with the recording engineer to capture a close-mic'ed, intimate sound from the quartet, which I mixed with the pre-recorded electronic track. I made the track by stretching and effecting the audio from the MIDI-based mockup of the piece. Other synthesizers and electronic percussion was added in to reinforce particularly poignant moments.
For the video, I created an algorithm in the coding language Processing that took color values from a grid of pixels. Each RGB color value was then assigned to a box in a grid of boxes whose size and opacity were controlled by slightly-out-of-phase LFOs.
- Composer / Generative system builder
- Recording Session Producer
- Audio Editor / Mixer
- Video Editor
- Generative visual algorithm designer