Mainly what I did this semester was take 8 classes and create 3 theses. I also learned how to swim.
I recorded samples and made instruments out of them. Bottles clanking created high percussion and water-filled woks made wobble-lines. I harvested gamelan sounds and lined up the pulsing patterns to create rhythmic structure.
How cool would it be to create an interface that used body-motion to control music? This is how I felt my music should be performed: music is gesture. I realized it would be possible with a Kinect sensor! I performed the piece at the X Sound Festival. It appeared that I was floating because I was lit by backlight, wearing a UV costume I had made, and standing on one leg to use one foot to pan a track. In the end I rolled off the stage into the audience.
My teacher was powerful mad at me for putting a dead coyote in her dishwasher. Just kidding, she was mad for having poor time management skills and adding elements to my projects at the last minute. “This performance is an application downloaded from the ether, are you sure you want to open it?” “The X Sound Festival has unexpectedly quit, reopen?” Once I had been scolded for being unprofessional for about an hour I don’t think I learned my lesson. I shouldn’t be flippant about this because it is tiresome to cause such stress, but I feel it is a fundamental weakness and will likely require more than a couple hundred personal fuckups.
Here’s the part where I get to brag though: after being chided my teacher said it was impressive that I had written two songs and made a music video in three weeks, along with creating a multi-media performance. She commented that I had accomplished more with the Kinect sensor technology in a few weeks than the combined efforts of the technical director of Mills and another graduate student had over the course of four months.
I was burnt out on working hard and continued to work hard. I directed my first video crew and finished my psychology thesis. I had an average of 3 hours a day commuting by bus throughout the semester and would use it to do research for the psychology thesis – it showed – in retrospect it was badly written. I ended up writing about music as a metaphor for brain function, discussing how cross-cerebral neural oscillation synchrony may be a crucial component for cognitive function.
Now I’m done with my undergraduate degree. I’ve had capstone educational experiences, but it’s still odd not to be thinking about what classes I’ll take next semester. Now I’m trying to find a job and an apartment like everyone does after they graduate.