Archive for the ‘Project Diary’ Category

Dolphin echo-locating

Monday, July 20th, 2009


Monday, July 20th, 2009

Underwater sounds, and sounds beyond human hearing range present a fascinating area of research and raise particular musical questions about the nature of our material. I have been working with these ideas over the past months, and at the studio at Steim I’m pulling together sounds and images collected on a recent residency in Florida with Alvin Lucier and David Dunn, recordings of space and underwater sounds including dolphin. A recent visit to the Bio-Acoustics Lab at UPC in Barcelona brought my attention to the applied nature of sound research in science, and the complementary reliance on vision to see sounds and patterns that might otherwise be missed in enormously complex data. So I’m looking further at the relation between sound and image in environmental conditions and trying to gather material for live performances that include acoustic instruments as part of the sound environments.

Atlantic Center for the Arts with Alvin Lucier

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

The first days of a residency at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in Florida, with composer Alvin Lucier. It’s raining hard still, and all night, wonderful sounds as it falls through the jungly leaves and gurgles in the drain pipes. I have a view out of my window onto the vegetation, it’s thick palms oaks small shrubs very green and wet and alive.

experiments in underwater sound 2

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

Musical experiments into underwater creatures and the aqueous properties of the contra-bass flute. Part of Scorescapes. New sound works with electronics and contrabass flute played by Ned McGowan Karnatic Lab evening, Muziekcentrum De Badkuyp, Amsterdam.
The second in the series of experiments into underwater sounds, this introduces a live musician to the electronic and environmental soundworld of the first performance. The musical negotiations between two musicians using such different processes of sound production and variety of timbral possibilities became a focus. I introduced Ned to the material we would be using and the ideas behind the work including sounds outside of the human hearing range, and we worked with these ideas in an unstructured way, to create a really unusual performance.

experiments in underwater sound

Friday, March 6th, 2009

The first presentation of new material related to underwater sounds, at the Karnatic Lab evening, De Badkuyp, Amsterdam. I was interested to use the opportunity of an informal but public lab setting to put together a live performance that relates environmental recordings of underwater mammal sounds, electronic processes that reflect these natural sound processes, and hydrophone recordings I made in the Amsterdam canals. I was looking at musical properties of sounds that may be outside our natural hearing range, or too fast for us to perceive. By slowing down and lowering pitches I built up a soundscape based on temporal, harmonic and dynamic qualities present in the underwater soundworld.

Sons de Mar – research in underwater bioacoustics

Saturday, January 24th, 2009

Cetaceans (whales, dolphins) are considered bio-indicators of changing environmental balances at sea because of their highly evolved acoustic perception and communication in their environment. The sounds in the ocean have dramatically transformed over the last 100 years due to anthropogenic noise made by our technologies – listen to this transformation at Sons de Mar. The noise pollution is so great that it interferes with Cetacean sonar and causes deafness which in turn increases the possibilities of collision with vessels at sea. The research group LAB Laboratori d’Aplicacions Bioacustiques, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, led by Michel Andre, has done several projects of passive acoustics – developing a way to detect whales by listening to the sound fields already present rather than adding more sound to the noise. There is also a clear acoustic map visualization with sound of the sea on the coasts of Catalunya and Spain.

Lecture and Performance at KVNM Royal Society of Dutch Musicology

Tuesday, January 20th, 2009

31 January 2009 at the Royal Society for Netherlands Musicology KVNM, during a congress on the future of dutch musicology – international, interdisciplinary and practice based research. Aula of the University of Utrecht.

“Scorescapes: Between the Map and the Music”  - Yolande Harris will present her recent work on sonic navigations, describing a musical journey that lies somewhere between the map and the music. (more…)

Satellite Sounding .mp3

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

Listen to the 7 minute sound piece that includes the Satellite Sounder recordings


Sun Run Sun: Satellite Sounding (7′43″)Yolande Harris
The Satellite Sounders are custom made hand-held instruments that take live navigation data (gps) from the satellites orbiting the earth and turn them into electronic sounds listened to on headphones while walking. In this piece the reactions of the public who become the performers, combined with the satellite sounds collected from four corners of the world, activates an imaginative space of both dreams and suspicions enacted above the everyday.
Sun Run Sun and the Satellite Sounders: composition, concept and design Yolande HarrisWith thanks to participants at the Picnic08 Conference Amsterdam, Virtueel Platform and Fonds BKVBDeveloped at the Netherlands Media Art Institute (NIMK) and STEIM Amsterdam during 2008Satellite sounds recorded on location in Genova, Los Angeles, Singapore, at Sea 2008

more information:

Satellite Sounding – data and language

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

Research Presentation, Orpheus Institute, Ghent

Saturday, December 20th, 2008

I gave a 90 minute presentation of this research so far to the research group at the Orpheus Institute. Here is the pdf of the slides: YoPresent19dec08