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Sound Traffic Control

Sound Traffic Control is a San Francisco-based media arts assemblage that features a unique, real-time spatial audio system through which musicians, engineers, conductors, vocalists and DJs form an interwoven, surround-sound orchestra. "Sound Traffic Control" is also a metaphor: the "air traffic controllers" in the 3-D surround hub pilot airborne "musical cargo ships" from different parts of STC's "sound world," utilizing separate and simultaneous "taxis," "takeoffs," and "landings." The audience members are "passengers" who roam runways intersecting the dynamic musical trajectories.

Rising from the experimental heritage of ambient/industrial pioneer Naut Humon, founder of Rhythm and Noise, Sound Traffic Control continues to explore the sonic interaction of human and machine. STC's unique sound reinforcement network projects music and aural animation throughout the building creating intertwined three-dimensional audio immersion environments in which real-time solo or ensemble performances occurring in several adjacent rooms are fed through the STC remix system in a live central location.

A conductor in the center of this lobby mixes and distributes sound input in real time from the live feeds. Baton gestures translate into a diverse spectrum of machine control data: which morphs and configures the MIDI connection between the multiple instrumental players and the podium.

With Sound Traffic Control's live engagements, myriads of contrasting presentational formats are possible. STC premiered its musical enterprise in Tokyo, Japan at Panasonic Corporation's Theme Fair, with an intricately staged affair for an airport control tower and 800 floor to ceiling loudspeakers.

Next fall, STC lands in Banff, Canada as the sponsoring vehicle for the 1995 International Computer Music Conference. STC will be co-hosting and will be contributing the use of its sound platform to guest electronic composers during exhibitions throughout the week's activities.

Last November, STC put on two shows at Club Townsend in San Francisco. During these shows, Sound Traffic Control occupied two separate but adjoining auditoriums. The main room housed the complete audio installation.

The second room was occupied by the Iso-Ambient Orchestra, an STC-organized group of instrumentalists from numerous local bands and international solo projects. The drones emanating from the orchestra's guitars, cellos, violins, tambouras, keyboards and other instruments were combined with rhythms and electronic music in the main room to form lingering multi-textural sonic layers. Audio and video feeds interconnected each hall uniting the two spaces and providing even more sensory stimulation to the attendees by a dual perception of essentially a common musical thread.

In January, Sound Traffic Control provided the primary entertainment for the largest social spectacle of the MacWorld convention: a party for 4,000 guests hosted by HSC at the Exploratorium Palace of Fine Arts. At this event, the STC control hub embraced the entire massive exhibit museum complete with remote DJ, sound sculpture and Iso-Orchestra stations.

Other guest performers at these events included:

David Darling, solo cellist, whose evocative and melancholy music has been released on the ECM and Hearts of Space labels.

Perry Hoberman, whose "Symphonic Appliance System" animates a garage-sale full of atomic-age household gadgets including projectors, records, radios, kitchen appliances and electric tools. [ downloaded on may 20 1995 from Telepresence Research Home Page (C) 1995 Perry Hoberman All rights reserved Revised: 2-20-95

Perry Hoberman is an installation and performance artist whose work employs a variety of technologies, ranging from totally obsolete to state-of-the-art. Hoberman has exhibited and performed widely throughout the United States and Europe. Hoberman is the Art Director at Telepresence Research .

Bar Code Hotel is an Interactive Installation for Multiple Guests. Faraday's Garden is a Viewer-Activated Symphonic Appliance Installation. The Empty Orchestra Cafe is a Radical Neo-Karaoke Bar. ]

The Acid Karaoke of Carl Stone, an internationally-known electronic music composer, and Chinese singer Min Xiao-Fen.

Spacetime Continuum, a techno-ambient convergence from the Astralwerks label guided by Jonah Sharpe, whose aural exploits include collaborations with Bill Laswell, Peter Namlook and Deep Space Network.

Reflective Records' Single Cell Orchestra, who explore the mysterious underside of the ambient phenomenon through chromatic transpositions and narrative form.

Mixmaster Morris, whose Irresistible Force project forges a DJ perspective on the international global chillage.

[ downloaded from Mixmaster Morris Homepage v1.8 March 1995 on may 20 1995 excerpts

Mixmaster Morris is 'the international cheerleader of the ambient underground'. He flies around the world playing experimental music at the biggest and best parties, and collecting records as he goes. Occasionally he makes a record, usually as The Irresistible Force, and these artefacts seem to be extraordinarily popular with those of the zippy persuasion. His wardrobe of holographic suits, flashing lights, techno t-shirts, psychedelic remnants and DMs is instantly recognizable throughout the techno world..

Ambient Techno is the inevitable head-on fusion of modern Techno music with the venerable traditions of Space Music, Cosmic Music and Proto ambience! Ambient Techno is the psychedelic music of the '90s, and the ideal soundtrack to the Zippy lifestyle .... Mixmaster Morris Global Chillage 1995! morris @ ] _______________________________________________________________

Sound Traffic Control's real-time spatialization system routes audio inputs from digital playback devices, sculpture objects, live musicians, and DJs through mixing boards, Macintosh computers, and software-controlled hardware. To accomplish this, STC uses software including StudioVision, MAX, and LCS, as well as algorithms that STC has developed itself to create trajectories that can direct sound in rhythmically and geometrically precise paths or diffuse sonorous information through random or probability-based patterns.

In the software stage, the multiple music mixing inputs are routed through a diffusion matrix that consists of any combination of three sound-spatialization hardware systems: Level Control Systems (LCS), Spatial Sound Processors (SSP), or Serge Analog Modular units. This dissemination matrix merges the audio separately into 12 or more speaker stations placed strategically throughout the listening environment.

At any stage (input, output or in between) the signals can be fed through a host of digital signal processors and effects units which are under machine control by software developed by STC. This processing stage can either contribute to the psycho-acoustic realism of the 3-D sound environment or create surrealistic transformations.

Sound Traffic Control's home base, known as "the Compound," is a state-of-the-art digital and analog sound facility, including eight Macintosh workstations, a live 3-D sound lab, an extensive array of sound processing equipment, a vast sound library, and 56 tracks of digital recording capability.

As well as specializing in the design and utilization of STC's advanced, detailed sonic environment, the Compound is the center of recording activities for several unusual record labels and other musical projects and collaborations. Sound Traffic Control is able to extend the resources at the Compound to outside composers, DJ's and musicians who find a mutual stylistic aesthetic.

You can reach Sound Traffic Control at:

(415) 822-2405 (415) 822-5749 (415) 239-5219 (fax)

242 Athens St. San Francisco, CA 94112 USA

NAUT HUMON - Creator, Curator, Conductor

For over 20 years, STC creator, curator and conductor Naut Humon has been staging underground events which have inverted and blurred the roles of audience and participant. Prior to Sound Traffic Control, Naut Humon was the primary catalyst, producer, arranger and performer of Rhythm and Noise, a group of musical "artlaws" whose primordial sonic onslaught fused industrial percussion, vocal gestures, din, and vibration into an apocalyptic sensorium. Rhythm and Noise's early audience abduction and "mobilization" events have naturally evolved into STC's audio-cinematic presentations. He founded Sound Traffic Control in 1991 with two intentions: first, to replace Rhythm and Noise's group form by a more flexible collective; and second, to focus on using an orchestral setting to explore three-dimensional space.

Throughout the years, along with his own electro-acoustic excursions and products Naut has collaborated with dozens of artists and musicians of numerous influences, disciplines and styles. His investigative processes and the interaction of this diverse combination of performers is what makes Sound Traffic Control what it is today.

GREGORY LENCZYCKI - Composer, Programmer

As a composer, performer and instrument builder, Gregory Lenczycki comes to STC with a diverse background of experience in electro-acoustic music. A recent graduate of the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College, he has scored music for both film and dance, and has worked as an instructor through the CCM and CNMAT and as an assistant to Maryanne Amacher and Eliane Radigue. He has performed with Alvin Curran, Artists Make Noise, and the New Music Theatre, and his compositions have been presented throughout the US and Europe. His music has been described as "numinous... hypnotically oscillating between conscious and subconscious sound worlds, between implicit and explicit stages of auditory cryptonesia and anamnesia."

Mr. Lenczycki is currently dividing his efforts with STC between the development of algorithmically-based software for the 3-D diffusion of sound and the composition of new music for the sound spatialization system. In addition to STC, he is currently recording and performing with Citizen Band.

RAY GUILLETTE - Composer, Programmer

Originally a visual artist and sculptor, Ray Guillette began composing with sound in the electro-acoustic music graduate program at Dartmouth College, where his research involved the psycho-acoustics and semantics of three dimensional audio. Guillette has studied and performed with composers Larry Polansky, Christian Wolff and John Cage. He has received international awards and commissions and his works have been presented at festivals and concerts such as, the Warsaw Autumn Festival, The Stockholm Electronic Arts Festival, and the Gaudeamus Festival in Amsterdam.

At STC, Guillette is helping to design 3-D diffusion software as well as gestural control structures for live performances. He has also designed and coded the STC-relevant web sites.

XOPHER DAVIDSON - frequency distribution propagation and analysis

Xopher Davidson is an engineer and composer of electronic sound. Formerly a non-representational painter, film auteur and loop technician, and curator of the seminal art space Exhibit [0], he has most recently been studying obscure instruments at the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College. Current projects include the experimental group Citizen Band and noise shaping for Mixture 151. He works with Sound Traffic Control in the areas of trajectory design, frequency distribution, and aesthetic agitation.


Scot Gresham Lancaster - Remote Sensing Specialist Richard Zvonar - Live DSP Guru Keith Hildebrant - K2000 Kaiser, Sound Design Eric Holland - Live Show Operations Manager Adrienne Gulyassy - Chief Sound Engineer Jessica Grace Wing - Studio Engineer & Manager Tim Digulla - Studio Engineer, Sound Librarian Filiz Agi - Digital Editing and Optimization Samantha Brennan - Digital Editing and Optimization

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