GSA and the DDS at XpoNorth

A very belated post!

The Glasgow School of Art and Digital Design Studio had lots to show off this year for XPoNorth in Inverness, participating in several panels and and hosting an evening of drinks with friends and colleagues.

Some of this year’s best work was on display, including heritage, serious games, and medical projects from the student body, as well as additional projects by the Design students at the nearby Forres campus. The evening was capped off with a great slide presentation and fashion show displaying some recent pieces from GSA Textile Design students . All in all, a great event.

You can see videos and photos from the event here: https://xponorth.co.uk/ 

Sound Advice

The DDS’s own Ronan Breslin, programmer leader for the MDes in Sound for moving Image,  had an opportunity to offer his insights into running a recording studio at one of the Audio Engineering Societies recent meetings. Answering questions on how the industry of sound engineering has changed with advancing technology, and how to complete in a market where home recording can be done on portable laptops.

Details about the event (and further upcoming events) can be found here.

RonanAES02

“The event was very well attended by a very enthusiastic group of sound production students and AES members. The attendees enthusiasm was evident via their well-considered questions and discussions at the social event afterwards. It was a privilege to share a platform with eminent musician/engineers Paul McGeechan and Brian McNeil. Thanks to the AES for having me.” – Ronan Breslin

A New Way to Manipulate Sound: Transforming Transformation

The DDS, in collaboration with Birmingham Conservatoire’s Integra Lab, have completed work on their Transforming Transformation project – a new human-centred approach that allows musicians and sound designers to manipulate sound through a 3D virtual environment.

Funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, Transforming Transformation enables sound sources to be “touched”, “grabbed”, “dragged”, and “placed” within a 3D virtual environment. Through this system, a sound source’s real-world location corresponds to its spatial position within a virtual acoustic space that can be manipulated. In other words, if a sound designer wants a sound to appear to come from behind the listener, they just “pick it up” and “move it to the back” of the virtual space.

With the initial work on the project complete, the project team plans to continue to refine the virtual environment and address any key issues identified in the project, and we wish them continued success!

More information on the  development  of Transforming Transformation can be found here, and you can also read about the projects published results here.

Another BAFTA New Talent Win!

We would like to congratulate Sound for Moving Image student Kevin Murray, who has won a The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA)  Scotland New Talent Award for his short film “Paperclip”.  Well done!

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I didn’t even entertain the idea of getting nominated, never mind winning, and as such had absolutely no prep; even in my head, for an acceptance speech.

As I still didn’t believe I had a chance of winning once I had been nominated, I fully intended to have a nice time being at the awards and drinking all the free booze. It’s only good fortune and my friend Colin (Who did the camera work for paperclip) being incredibly late, that I wasn’t completely smashed on free wine before things even began.

Upon winning, I went proper giddy, as is evident from the official BAFTA photo of all the winners doing there best to look regal and winnery, and me laughing like a maniac beside my pal Danny Boyle.

You can see Kevin’s film here.

Details about the BAFTA Scotland awards for new talent can be found at: http://www.bafta.org/scotland/awards/new-talent.

DDS Showcased on STV's "Alive at Five"

The DDS was given an opportunity to strut its stuff for Scotland’s biggest daily magazine show “Alive at Five” on STV, and show off some of our recent research work in 3D visualisation, haptic design, and medical/ historical digital recreation.

Laser scan of plaster casts
Laser scan of plaster casts in one of the 1st floor studios

A key highlight of our recent work has been digitising and creating an interactive walkthrough of the GSA’s own Macintosh Building, which  was badly damaged in a fire in 2014. This work is now being used to help inform and support the building’s restoration.

Watch it online here.

DDS has developed technology for using Haptic Devices in medical simulations
DDS has developed technology for using Haptic Devices in medical simulations

Sound Thought @ The CCA

This week in the Glasgow CCA is Sound Thought – the University of Glasgow’s annual postgraduate sonic arts festival.

Through a series of concerts, screenings, performances, discussions and workshops, the three-day festival will show how research and practice from a range of sound and music disciplines communicate across artistic canons.

DDS PhD student Jessica Argo and tutor Ronan Breslin both have works that will be performed as part of the festival, this Thursday evening.

Jessica will be presenting a paper and providing samples of Soundscapes used in her research: “Immersive Soundscapes to elicit Anxiety in Exposure Therapy: Physical Desensitization and Psychological Catharsis

Jessica will present physiological data analysis from her experiments, to reveal the most powerful and consistent anxiety-triggering sounds. Questionnaire responses also offer insight into participants’ emotional involvement and reactions.

Ronan’s work goes under the title “Adolescent Nuclear Angst…Or how I Learned to Stick My Head Between my Knees“.

Ronan notes:

As a child of the late 70’s and early 80’s my abiding memory was of the malevolent spectre of nuclear annihilation. Ronald Reagan was elected US president promising to confront an “evil empire” and in my school playground we fretted about the latest scare-mongering TV documentary or drama depicting the imminent apocalypse.  The Soviet Union was the evil bogeyman waiting in the woods; not witches, demons or monsters.  After watching one particular film “Threads”, a 10-year old me recalls asking my all-knowing, military-trained, strong and protective dad what we would do if there was a nuclear war. “Stick our heads between our knees and kiss our arses’ goodbye” was his glib reply.

This AV piece will have resonance as a warning from the past as well as offering me a chance for me to finally get payback on my dad for his inconsiderate flippancy.

The full programme is available here. All events are free, but registration is required.

 

Student nominations for BAFTA NewTalent Awards

Congratulations to DDS Grad Kevin Murray (MDes Sound for Moving Image, 2015) who has been nominated for a BAFTA Scotland NewTalent award for his short film “Paperclips” – created as part of his work for the MDes.

You can watch the film online here:
https://vimeo.com/138628940

And congratulations also to Tommy Reilly (2014) who is nominated in the Composer category for his work “The Beholder”.

You can see the full list of nominees here.

In the Valley of Guns and Roses

David McAulay, currently on the MDes Sound for Moving Image programme at the DDS, was sound mixer, editor and composer for the just-released documentary In the Valley of Guns and Roses. The documentary follows the struggles of Irina, a single mother working in a weapons factory in Bulgaria’s Rose Valley.

In addition to mixing and editing the sound for the production, David also wrote the score, and had this to say about his work:
“The director Simon and I have often talked about the sensitivity required when imposing music upon a character. This is particularly important in documentary film. Even the slightest shift in tone can damage the integrity of the story. This has led me towards finding a way of using the character’s speech patterns and gestures as the basic building blocks for my compositions.

Irina is deeply connected to the folk music of Bulgaria through both her singing and her relationship with her late Grandfather. Simon captured some great performances demonstrating this connection. I worked with fragments of these old folk songs, using the melodic contours as building blocks for new material. Her very constitution is embedded within the score.

While studying Irina’s speech melody, I developed an intimacy with her that had a profound impact on the resulting music. By isolating and repeating phrases from her interviews I could transform her speech into melody and continue building the score around that. The Czech composer Leoš Janáček was one of the first to use speech melody in his operas and said – ‘if speech melody is the flower of the water lily, it nevertheless buds and blossoms and drinks from the roots, which wander in the waters of the mind’.”

In the Valley of Guns and Roses is showing all this week on Al Jazeera, and is available online here.

More information on the MDes Sound for Moving Image here.

Explorathon 2015

Back in October, Stuart Jeffrey, (Research Fellow in Heritage), Laura Hundersmarck (International Heritage Visualisation intern), and Mhairi Maxwell (Research Developer for International Heritage Visualization) took part in the Explorathon event at the National Museum of Scotland.

3D printer in tow, they joined astronomers, chemists, physicists and fellow archaeologists to showcase some of the most cutting-edge discoveries and technologies available today, and presented work from the ACCORD project: an endeavour to co-create 3D-models of archaeological sites and monuments that has been travelling across Scotland to work with local communities.

They outlined their work by video here, and details about Explorathon, and the other fantastic projects presented there, can be found here.

The School of Simulation and Visualisation (formerly Digital Design Studio)