em: kevin аτ blackistone.com


Experiments in Nodal Additive Synthese
in production

A synth built by placing nodes. Frequencies are determined by distance relations. Maximum and minimum distance settings act as high and low pass filters in this way. Four blended waveforms and (currently) up to ten voices per allows significant tonal control. Multiple controls available can be sequenced through two step sequencers. All functionality it still very developmental as this was intended as a quick test project that ballooned.




Strategies In Musical Composition Using Augmented Reality
in production

AR is typically used as a purely visual interface, but this tool can be expanded into the auditory realm by passing variables of recognized elements to produce aucoustic layers while camera orientation can be used to modulate the selected component.

A. Mass Participant Composition
A group of participants within a space are provided with AR equiped devices. As they move through the room and target different items and imagery through the space, app-based synthesisers produce chosen sounds and modulations as expressed above. By producing a target image onscreen within the app, sympathetic layers can be built in localized spatial regions by participants targeting other triggered devices.

B. Tarot as Composition
Tarot cards are set as AR targets to produce specified systhesis. As cards are drawn, their recognition and motion produces and modulates sound within defined per-card parameters. The growing assemblage of cards builds the assembled layers of the final Composition. Additional visual rendering provides focus to the performance.



Invalid Corpus

A diffused accoustic soundscape in 9 channel sound (8 channel surround with a central down oriented speaker) using Mozilla's CV_Corpus voice training data set of invalid voice samples to produce the experience of hearing the unintelligible thoughts of a room full of moving people. To accompany this piece a video text of the presumed statements scrolls on a screen. Half of the audience is oriented to towards and half away from this video. This divides the experience into those trying to make sense of several voices by audio alone and those trying to do so with a dissonance of several lines of incorrectly indentified text.
Stereo mix of abbreviated performance.


text scroll sample frame


Primate Methylation Series
Case [R] v. Control [L]
Project: Attempt auditory comparative analysis of DNA Methylation & RNA Expression Data
Design: RNA-Seq WIG files are fed into PureData after adjustments to fill no-coverage base pair locations.
Per base per sample coverage used as waveform, FM Modulator and AM Modulator [as described below sample audio tracks].
Samples merged to left (4x MR samples) and right (4x PR Samples) channels.
Variation between left and right could denote regions of interest for further exploration.
Result: No sufficiently perceptible occurrence was found.
Further exploration is needed to determine if this concept has any utility beyond the artistic.
Sample Patch [Visual]:

Sample 1

Mapped RNA-Seq Reads 15Kbp as waveform at 44.1Kbp/s

Sample 2

Coverage as FM Modulation : 3k base pair segment
Carrier tone frequency shifted up based on per base coverage per sample.

Sample 3

Coverage as AM Modulation : 3k base pair segment
Per sample carrier tones (harmonic) amplitude boosted based on per base coverage.
Kbps = Kilobasepairs or 1,000 nucleotides (letters) of sequence


20 Speaker 3 Zone Custom Hanging Speaker Array
Project: Design a custom 3 zone hanging speaker array covering 326m2(3500ft2)
Design: Custom speaker housing was designed using basic hardware and reclaimed materials.
Cabinets each contained one two-way 165mm 4Ω speaker.
Dense cardboard form-tubes were selected for basic cabinet both for simplicity of material and acoustic properties
Acoustic batting to minimize case design frequencies was made using a combination of dense fiberglass duct liner and loose insulation fiberglass
End caps and mounting were custom CNC cut to flush fit from 9.5mm (3/8") plywood
Speaker routing was done using high gauge wire (for length) and a combination of parallel and series circuits to produce a 6Ω line impedance at the amp.

Speaker Design:
Circuit Layout:

Nox Arcana
Project: An immersive environmental exploration of time and space
Design: Video was developed using algorithmic methods intended to produce effects of pre-temporal influence
Sound design as four channel surround using a combination of ambient washes and NASA Voyager data.
Explorations are referenced through concepts of the delay between transmission and receipt of Voyager sounds
As well as the data itself having been delayed before arrival at the probe
Run Time: 30 minute loop

Three minute extract: [stereo mixed from 4 channel]

Tracks