Synaesthesia 001


What do you hear when you look at this photo?


Upload your music/sound to my ftp server & then add a comment below so that I know its up… I’ll then embed it in an MP3 player in this post… If you could start the filename with SY001 & your name that would make life easier too… Heres the upload details (you will need to use an ftp program like Cyberduck OSX or Filezilla PC)
No password (just hit enter when it asks for one)
Upload to the ‘incoming’ folder
Feel free to download the image so you can have it open while working….
Here’s the first few uploaded:

Rhian Sheehan:
[audio: textures Rhian Sheehan.mp3 |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

[audio: |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

escalation746: wavefront makara – hue blue linear
[soundcloud url=”” params=”auto_play=false&player_type=tiny&font=Arial&color=000000″ width=”300″ height=”18″ ]

Daniel Powell:
[audio: |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

[audio: uav.mp3 |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

Stefan Smulovitz:
[audio: |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

Tim Prebble: Swim with the fishes
[audio: with the fishes.mp3 |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

James Thompson:
[audio: |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

aart uunivers:
[audio: |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

Michael Maroussas:
[audio: Maroussas.mp3 |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

Tohm Judson:
[audio: |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

Stephen Gallagher:
[audio: Edmonds.mp3 |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

David Vranken:
[audio: David Vranken.mp3 |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

Brendan Hogan: Refuge
[audio: |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

Christian Conrad:
[audio: Christian Conrad.mp3 |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

Joel Anscombe Smith: Sand People
[audio: |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

[audio: |titles=Synaesthesia 001]

36 thoughts on “Synaesthesia 001

  1. tim Post author

    seriously beautiful work you two!

    & btw I am not opposed to doing this via a Soundcloud set, the only slight issue is that presently if you upload a track to my dropbox I have to download it & then reupload it to be able to include it in a set. It’s a flaw in Soundcloud & I’ve contacted them about it, but you can always sign up for a free account & then message me there & I can include it. The benefit with that is you can track the stats on your work & when someone who likes your track they can easily find out more about you & check out your other tracks etc….

  2. escalation746

    This project intrigued me. I was unable to connect via FTP, so I uploaded the result to Soundcloud. I will message you there. Prepare for “Wavefront Makara (hue blue linear)”.

  3. Stefan Smulovitz

    The picture grabbed me and I remixed one of my viola fragments that I was using for a theatre piece I am scoring into what you hear. (The sample can be heard unaltered at the end – its the only source material used.)

    Thanks for inspiring others….


  4. tim Post author

    i updated this post with my granular swim-with-the-fishes mix!
    warning its a little bit nasty!
    i was imaging life from a small fishes point of view 😉
    (the only source material was a dozen or so recordings of waves/surf)

    i have another track underway, but it will be the weekend before
    i post it….. its primarily bowed ghuzeng thru my modular synth….

  5. aart uunivers


    i uploaded a small piece – called “quiet idiiom”, 04.48 min long…

    it is a mixture of spectral sounds / real instruments as well as granular guitars (+ little fret noises as well) …

    aart uunivers

  6. derHa

    i’d simply love to participate in this, but i’m too fixed writing my masterthesis. if this is still ongoing in two weeks you can be sure to hear from me. i feel this project is quite inspiring!

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  8. James Joseph

    What granular synths did everyone use to make their pieces? Has anyone used the granular functions of Max for Live?

  9. Stefan Smulovitz

    To manipulate my sample I used software I have created

    I used to use only granulation to slow sounds down but I added a fft phase vocoder time stretching section as well and love some of the new sounds I can get out of that. Many more options with granulation but there is a smoothness to using the spectral technique that granulation can’t quite get.

    Its all created in Max and I will look into making a Max for Live version. Right now you would have to use rewire to get the sounds in and out of live.


  10. Brendan Hogan

    My track says “file not found” did I do something wrong in the uploading process? Also, my track is a bit of a puzzle and the title “Refuge” is the key to understanding what’s going on.

    Love all the other submissions. The picture strikes me as incredibly peaceful yet many of the submissions strike me as…well…not peaceful. Just goes to show the extreme subjectivity of both image and sound. Or perhaps I’m interpreting it from an emotional/narrative stand point and others are coming more from a strictly aesthetic point of view. Any thoughts?

    Also, I find the challenge of translating a photograph – a snapshot of a moment in time, unchanging, unmoving – into music which is bound to time, and bound to change and develop.

    1. Brendan J. Hogan

      Everything plays fine now. ? Must have been something on my end. Sorry to bother.

      It has occurred to me that while an image may be stuck in time our viewing of it and thoughts about it are not. Per Tim’s comment, one might look at the picture and think “oh how peaceful” and then “but yet so immense and foreboding” and then “I wonder how many lives have been lost to that great power”. This flow of emotions is exactly what music is best at portraying. I side stepped the issue by creating a narrative around the image instead of creating a narrative from the image. I’m wondering what other people’s thought processes were when creating their pieces.

  11. tim Post author

    hey Brendan – sorry I will edit & add your title…. but does it not play for you? When I add each persons track to the post I always play it to check it is embedded correctly & yours plays fine for me…. Can you check playback again? Maybe empty browser cache first (and I ‘got’ the narrative of your piece – great ideas!)

    And to everyone who submitted – fantastic work! I agree with üav – its so inspiring to hear all this unique music & sound that presumably didn’t exist before!

    Is there interest in making the collection downloadable? Of course I wouldn’t do it without each persons permission, but I could compile all the tracks into a zip file along with the image & a text file with info/links back to each of the composers, which would enable offline listening….

    Will post number 2 later this week

  12. tim Post author

    re interpreting it, my dualistic take on it is that it is indeed a peaceful/beautiful image….. but there is also a dark side to it: that same beautiful ocean takes away many peoples lives every year…

  13. escalation746

    The first two works may indeed have been “seriously beautiful”, as Tim commented at the time, so perhaps I reacted against that. The ocean scares me, so I certainly have no problem with an intense aggressive interpretation. Everything I do comes from a very particular subjective; I make no attempts to hide that but don’t always go out of my way to make everything explicit.

    Further explication is found on my blog as new track: Wavefront Makara.

    As for granular synthesis, I normally use Reaktor but have also made use of Csound and Max/MSP. But this time no granulation!

    As for compiling the downloads, I think we have the makings of an album here! The quality of the work really is high and the submissions intriguing. Should we perhaps see if there is a net label interested? I can see this getting more and more entries as time goes on, especially if this is promoted in other places.

  14. David V

    Re the track, mine is made from accordion sounds, i felt the tiny vibrating layers of metal were shiny as the water reflections. Then the granular synth (reaktor) can give deapth to it as the landscape’s deapth. There’s no cut in the sound as the horizon is not perceptible, i mean there’s a lack of break point in the picture which is interesting, probably frightening.

    Personnaly i’m fine with a downloadable solution. And contacting a label would be great but for the label, i’m a little bit scared as it can work against the freedom of the actual system, freedom of posting and freedom of posting without consequences. If there is a label involved, they’ll have to make a selection, we could be in competition … So yes to a label, but only if there is a way for us to keep the simplicity of the process (and no money involved). Also i don’t think my actual track is good enough for a label, it has no ending … but that’s just me.

    Other than that, thanks to Tim for the opportunity, and we’ll be waiting for the next picture, with more and more participant i’m sure …

  15. tim Post author

    I agree with David, that involving a label could alter the intent, freedom & flow of ideas… but lets see how it evolves

  16. Michal Fojcik

    Very intersting works from you all.

    I found it peaceful and it reminded me childhood, so I based it on my daughter’s singing + some IRs.

    I’m curious how it will evolve too.

  17. aart-uunivers


    i don´t think a label should frighten anybody, because as it says – it would just a “label”.

    the underlying idea (to build “tracks” upon the impression of a picture) still remains and is not altered at all and a label would give the chance to explicetly define the idea, so that everybody can be very relaxed. after all it is an experiment with every picture and every track trying to communicate with it.

    i’d rather have that (a defining wrap=label around it) than freefloating tracks around the interwebs with no documentation.

    but in any case every author should have the right to say: no – dont make it downloadable or please don´t include it in any package.

    still – having in mind – it´s an experiment, gives you the right to create and define your playground. and the label (wrap) gives you even more space.

    some of the finest pieces of music i know are neglected by their authors as too fast produced or created. as well i know there´s a tendency in everybody to distrust creations that are done without spending (too much) time or taking (too much) care.

    after all it´s always the listener, that defines his communication with the piece, not the author anymore.

    have a nice time, bye

  18. escalation746

    There are many net labels that make stuff available for free and have no control/monetary interest. I only suggest it in order to give wider exposure to this great project!

    In fact at any moment I might set up such a label. 🙂

  19. üav

    Great idea!
    I think it need to be free, to be available in lossless version too, to be surrounded by a minimal design (picture+Synaesthesia and our names) in order to respect all different songs, a soft mastering.

  20. aart-uunivers

    üav – you are absolutely right! theres not much more to be added. maybe some slight adjustments in terms of packaging, but yes the “label” sould be the experimental task/series/whatever itself…

    actually, that´s what i wrote to tim via mail as well.

  21. Tohm

    I’m in for whatever you guys would like to do… I just think this could be a lot of fun… I love the idea of forcing myself into a different state of mind for a short moment.

    I used the +bubbler object in MSP (from the soundhack objects) for a 10 second grain. Audio was from a MSP synth I am building to work with the launchpad for realtime performances. I’ll share the patch once I clean it up a bit if anyone is interested.

    Its rather simple, but I wrote it in a very zen state of mine, thinking of the days I would just sit on the beach and stare out until I was practically blind from the reflection and everything else around me seemed distant.

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