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Week 8 – Mason Eaton

Aims and Ideas

This week I will be completing one of my two audio pieces in progress, and hopefully also responding to it through Automatism, in the style that I developed last week with Automatic Drawing, then reworking the piece consciously with acrylic paint. I feel that this far into the project, I have enough research to provide context and inspiration for my work, and I will be solely focusing on producing creative pieces from now onwards.

Developed Work

This week, I produced a presentation based on one of the word prompts provided to us as a class. I chose the word Creationism, conducted some research and provided information about Creationism, and Creationism in Art.

Audio Piece – Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night – Audio Piece

I took this recording a while ago on Bonfire Night, at the beach. We had a bonfire burning and there were people setting off fireworks nearby, so I figured it would be a good opportunity to record some interesting sounds. I recorded close to the bonfire to try and capture the crackling as it burnt and managed to capture two fireworks on the recording as well.
Unfortunately, the audio piece had a lot of wind that ruined it and overlapped the sounds of the bonfire and fireworks, making the piece hard to listen to. I tried a couple of editing tricks to try and reduce the wind noise, but I couldn’t figure it out, so I left the recording in my files as a failed experiment.
However, this week I decided to go back to it, and after a lot of trial and error and seven different versions of the audio piece, I managed to create a piece that reduced the sound of the wind and amplified the sound of the bonfire and the fireworks. I first cut out the parts of the audio that were completely overwhelmed with the noise of the wind (11 seconds total). I then used a noise reduction tool, selecting the parts of the audio where the wind was the most overwhelming and creating a noise profile of those sounds, and then cutting that frequency from the piece. Following this, I used a normalisation tool to set a peak amplitude and remove DC offset. I then took this edited audio and applied a reverb, reducing the room size to make the audio less echoey and tinny sounding, and reducing the low tones to cut out any remnants of the wind that were left behind from the previous edits.
To compare the finished audio piece (above), here is the original recording (below).

Original Recording, unedited

Developed Audio Piece: ‘Bonfire Beach’

Bonfire Beach

‘Bonfire Beach’ is one of my three final audio pieces that are accompanied with Automatism pieces, the other two being ‘Birds and Boiling Rice’ (already completed) and ‘Water’, which I am currently working on and will have developed by next week. ‘Bonfire Beach’ is an audio piece composed of the audio pieces ‘Bonfire Night’ and ‘Waves’ overlapping. Both of those pieces were very difficult to edit and produce, and help to create a vivid environment of a bonfire on a beach. Combining the two edited audio pieces meant trying to align the wave noises to compliment the sounds of the bonfire and firework noises, so that they did not overlap or outplay one another. This took a lot of time too, and I am very happy with the result, as I believe all the sounds can be heard concurrently and clearly.

Automatism Piece: Response to ‘Bonfire Beach’

Automatic Drawing: Response to ‘Bonfire Beach’

Like I did with last weeks Automatism piece, I started with primed canvas paper and black pen. I played the audio piece ‘Bonfire Beach’ on loop, and automatically responded to the myriad of noises that it consists of. The result is the above drawing, which I then went on to rework with acrylic paint and pen.

Conscious Reworking (development)
Conscious Reworking (development)
Automatism Piece – ‘Bonfire Beach’
Automatic Drawing, pen on Canvas paper, Conscious acrylic painting and pen reworking

For this Automatism piece, I looked at the drawings and tried to make sense of all the scribbles. I wanted to do something similar to my ‘Birds and Boiling Rice’ Automatism piece, where I transformed the drawing into something recognisably related to the audio. I first painted different sections and shapes that were created between the automatic drawing line. I painted the beach a greyish sandy colour, and little pools of water to represent the seaside. I then painted the sticks and the flames of the bonfire in brown and yellow, alongside the smoke coming off of it in grey. The top left is supposed to represent a firework, so I painted it red, orange and a brighter yellow. After filling in the different sections with colour, I went back in with a black marker and drew over the lines that separated the different parts of the painting to make the shapes more distinct. There were lines that I painted over inside the firework and bonfire sections, so I repainted over them in white so they wouldn’t be lost underneath, and would still be a part of the structure of the piece. The result is a very abstract representation of Bonfire night and the Beach.

Side by Side Comparison: Before/After Conscious Reworking

Analysis and Reflection

Work and Development

I now just have one audio piece left to finish alongside one Automatism piece in response to it. I will be doing both of these things next week, then all three of my final piece collections will be finished. This audio piece took a long time to make, so I am very happy with the result, and I enjoyed combining conscious and subconscious reactions to the audio in the response piece. I think the progress I have made this week has been extensive, and I finally have a solid way of working with consistency and rules that link the final pieces together.


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