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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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An urban Symphony

Jena Floyd

Students sit in on a presentation of “Affective Oscillations,” a sound installation that combines noises from various urban dramas.

The sounds of Hurricane Katrina, the images of Carnival, the missile crisis in Havana — these and more are combined in a sound installation on campus.
Music lecturer Leonardo Cardoso and associate professor of performance studies Jeff Morris have created “Affective Oscillations,” a sound installation of urban dramas that compares and contrasts noises from big events in metropolitan areas. 
Cardoso, artistic director for the installation, said “Affective Oscillations” is a cycle of sounds played through speakers and paired with visuals projected on a screen in front of the room. The sounds and images depict scenes from five cities — New York, Rio de Janeiro, New Orleans, Buenos Aires and Havana.
“The sound installation is a collection of soundscapes, meaning sounds as they are apart of a specific environment,” Cardoso said. “This sound installation is the acoustics in environmental sounds in five different cities.”
After Cardoso came to Morris with the idea of the sound installation, they started brainstorming on how the project should look, sound and change over time. Morris, programmer and designer of the installation, does interactive media work.
Each city has two scenes depicted — one of celebration and one of crisis. Cardoso said both types of events represent how urban spaces, and the residents, create an identity. 
“So for instance, for New York City, a moment of celebration we chose was the Thanksgiving Parade, because it’s something that attracts people and showcases New York City during a specific time period,” Cardoso said. “It’s an opportunity to understand some of the traditions that are related to that place. For the crisis we chose 9/11 because again, that event caused kind of a rupture to the public, to the spatial fabric and to the everyday life in the city.”
Cardoso said he recorded some of the sounds, while others were collected from websites such as Soundcloud or YouTube. 
Morris said the installation interested him because he looks for ways to create forms of art with multimedia. 
“Art is most impactful when it creates an environment that makes it likely for your unique ideas to occur in your own head,” Morris said. “Our goal is to create a compelling artistic experience and to provide enough stimuli so that those ideas can adapt in each person’s imagination.”
English freshman Alexandra Huerta came to the installation and said she thought it was a neat experience. 
“I thought it was interesting, I didn’t really know what it was actually going to be about,” Huerta said. “I walked in and he didn’t even explain anything, he just started playing the music and the pictures and it was all rushed. It actually kind of made me feel like I was in the environment.”
The installation is available from 5:30-7:30 p.m. weekdays through May 1 in LAAH 109.

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