Call Me Hear

Documentaion of an ongoing project by Don Sinclair and Jeremy Rotsztain.

email to send images before and during performance:

Video Documentation


In this tightly synchronized and participative audio-video performance, Don Sinclair and Jeremy Rotsztain collect cell-phone images submitted by members of the audience, compose them into a collage, and transform/sonify that collage into a sonic scape of abstract sounds.

This system for interaction between cell-phone networks to Internet to video to audio was conceived and created by Don and Jeremy in Max/MSP/Jitter. The performance system explicitly invites members of the audience to submit images, regularly checks for new images, and downloads them onto Don's computer. Don composes a visual collage using the collection of images using a MIDI wind instrument, layering images with each another and selecting visual effects in real-time.

As Don is creating his collage, Jeremy simultaneously reads a single 320-pixel scan line from Don's collage and interprets it as an FFT spectrum to create an evolving soundscape. Brightness is used to control the amplitude and hue is used to control phase. Bright pixels in the top of the image are transformed into loud sounds in the upper sonic spectrum (10,000 to 20,000 Hz). Bright pixels on the lower half of the image are transformed into sounds in the lower spectrum (400 to 10,000 Hz). By reading through Don's changing collage by manipulating the scan line across the screen in different ways, Jeremy is able to play the collage thereby producing a variety of rhythms and timbres. If a second projector is available, Jeremy's scan line can be projected on the second projector.

The performance system is designed to provide the two performers a great degree of creative control over both the sonic and the visual while at the same time, keeping the performers intimately connected during the process. Don's use of the wind controller affords him the ability to create the collage while observing the position and movement of the scan line and hearing its sonification. Jeremy performs the scan line on the image collage, controls the position and movement of the scan line, adjust the sonification parameters, and has the scan line projected (if available).

Call Me Hear was performed at Windows on Fine Arts Cultural Studies (part of Accolade opening events March 2006), I/O Media at Interaccess Electronic Media Art Centre (April 2006), and International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) 2006 in New Orleans on November 10 as part of the Late Night series.