Last class and we are in lockdown again. Another quick semester spent educating at home. Nevertheless, I have immensely enjoyed this class and the opportunity to explore different pieces of writing, writing exercises and exploring different perceptions and themes within research.
Artifact 1: Vibrations Around Bodies
This is my initial Precursor 2 experiment that looks at an imagining of sound and vibrations felt within an earthquake. I wondered what it would feel like to be a body in a big earthquake. I went looking for earthquake recordings, and subsequently came up with the idea to make a creative response exploring the idea of replicating an earthquake experience. The following video was found via Youtube, and was chosen to remix as you can clearly see the effects of earthquake vibration waves. (See original here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5nf6Wl5TVI)
The audio for this video was created from an adjustment of a meditation track I have been making I have used in my 2nd Artefact track. The audio used has the additioanl focus of low vibration frequencies within the human hearing threshold 20-40Hz. I was interested in the justapostion with this track and the more violent footage on screen. I was interested in exploring and reflecting upon the expereince of feeling the earth rumble so violently.
According to the Australian Seismology centre, earthquake vibrations are between 0 - 20 Hz, which is below the normal range of audible sound. For more information about earthquakes see: www.src.com.au
Artifact 2: Waves in time
My 2nd artifact is a music/vibration/visual experience in the form of a video work, based off a multi-sensory experience I set up in a room. This experience utilised video projection, an audio/visual syncrhonator, and a vibration sub pack. The audio was composed to create feelings of relaxtion, combined with ocean sounds playing on headphones in conjunction with a vibration or 'subpack' attached to an office chair, which translates low frequency audio into felt vibrations.
The idea behind the video was to create a work which emulated the idea of relxation in the body from a subjective experience of me creating the work. The audio was created via the use of a subpac, witth compostional emphasis on using audio under 300HZ in order to tie in to my findings from the research.
I adjusted the video and audio as I sat with the Sub-Pac Vibrations in order to get direct feedback on my subjective feelings of relaxation. The ocean video was chosen for its relaxing and reflective qualities, which was then layered in with synchronator triggered audio.
*As you can see in the picture above, this is a Sub-Pac attached to an office chair, similiar to that which I used for my experiment.
These two videos portray development and filming in construction of my vibration music/experience 'artefact 2'.
The first video was trying to show the vibrating door and sound of the music outside of the studio.
Whilst the video below shows the audio triggered synchcronator been projected onto the wall.
I sat in the chair with the sub-pac during this experience, as I composed and tweaked the audio track in an attempt to intensfy feelings of subjective relaxation.
Waves in time: Audio
Below you can hear versions of backing track I made for my precursor video. The visuals for the video as seen above, were triggered by the audio via a visual generator called a syncrhonator.
The audio is constructed with the intentionalty of creating feelings of relaxation by utlising a bpm of 80 and soft dynamics (Elliot, Remco, and McGregor 2011), drones, binaural beats to reduce arousal (Choi, Bang and Yoon 2020), and a fundamental bass vibration frequency of 40Hz, which translates well to sensations in the sub vibration pack attached to the chair. The sounds of the ocean were also added as they have been found to lessen feelings of anxiety and tension (Munro & Searchfield 2019)
I also used the steady repetition of a rhythmic heartbeat to root the expereince in a comforting and familiar structure, which also alludes to the nature of the beating heart of the particpant listening/watching the work. Belwo I have also added the original 1hr version of the audio track, I made with the intention of been used in an experiment looking at rhythmic entrainment over time. There is also an abandoned version that I created that has the addition of singing bowls.
Which version do you find the most relaxing?
Waves in time (5 min version)
Waves in time (1hr version)
Waves in time (Singing bowl version)
After a vibration/music experience such as above, a participant may be interviewed and asked the following questions.
*Below are a series of questions that I would possibly ask a Vibration/Music experience participant. Such a questionare may be used to help assess the level of relaxtion in relation to positive mood and physiolgical arousal. In order to undertake such an assement, questions are construtced to help discover the levels of valance and physiological arousal within a participant.
How do you feel in your body?
How did you find this experience?
What was your favourite aspect of the experience?
What did you like/dislike about the music?
What was an aspect of the music which seemed the most important in making you feel relaxed?
In order to further monitor physiological arousal levels, biometric tracking of data could be used such as heart rate monitoring, or measuring cortisol levels from galvanic skin response. The methods subseqeuntly detailing the level of bodily arousal via heartrate montoring, and an indication of valance via the asssement of cortisol levels, which are indicative of levels of stress/relaxation..
Choi, H, Bang, Y, & Yoon, I, 2020. 0505 insomnia: Entrainment of binaural auditory beats on subjects with insomnia symptons, Sleep, vol.43, doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.lib.rmit.edu.au/10.1093/sleep/zsaa056.502
Elliott, D, Remco, P, McGregor, R 2011,’Relaxing Music for Anxiety Control’, The Journal of music therapy, vol.48.3, pp. 264–288
Munro, B, Searchfield, G 2019, The short-term effects of recorded ocean sound with and without alpha frequency binaural beats on tinnitus perception, Complementary Therapies in Medicine,Volume 44, pp. 291-295,, ISSN 0965-2299,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ctim.2019.05.005.
As a positive consequence of being sick and missing class I thought alot about why I got sick and the interaction of multiple variables, rhythms and modulations of effect within my body. I thought about what I could have done to prevent getting sick. I also thought about why I am interested in music therapies, music, and vibrations. The sound healing movement and a multidue of new agers and hippies on youtube seem to make claims to all types of vibration frequencies creating posiituve effects. I find it interesting but I am highly skeptical as there seems to be a lack of evidence supporting any of these claims, and from my own experience my sickness nor migraines were miraculous healed via the snake oil stimuli below. However, I still believe there is some merit to the claims, that is why it perplexes me as to why more research is not undertaken in the field, rather than conjecture and superstition.
I laid in bed for most of the week. I didn't get much reading done, but I did manage to get through the following reading
Sigurdardóttir, G.A, Nielsen, P.M, Ronager, J, Wang, A.G 2019, ‘A Pilot Study on High Amplitude Low Frequency–music Impulse Stimulation as an Add‐on Treatment for Depression’, Brain and behaviour, vol 9.10, e01399, doi:10.1002/brb3.1399
Randomized Control Pilot Study - HALF-MIS) a rebranded form of VAT, claims to stimulate the Vagus nerve in the throat to alleviate symptoms of depression. They used a seated chair, hooked up with an Ipad with music tracks and vibration programs with 20min sessions, using vibration frequencies between. 20hz - 240Hz. Music used was specifically created to be a Calm and pleasant music, natural harmonics, lack of dissonance and abrupt dynamics
Words, politics, power, manipulation, modulation,
Class Exercise: Ethics Considerations for possible honours idea
Modulation - if feels necessary to consider the implications of the modulations of the variables of affect, when looking at the specific effect of a stimulus. Much of my research is spent looking at the implications of a particular component of affect. In particular, in looking at vibration it is worthy of consideration of the effects surrounding modulation of frequency and intensity of vibration in order to not harm a participant undertaking usage using a vibration/sound device or technology. Eg. too loud, sound is abrasive, vibrations are too strong causing harm. The difference between road vibrations and seated vibrations.
Deceit - within the field of vibration research I have come across some dubious claims, untested claims, and reports of people stealing each other's ideas.
Permission - when looking at literature reviews within the field, it seems important to note wherever or not research was gathered and undertaken with the required permissions of participants involved.
Matsuda, H. & Machida, N.. (2014). Combined effects of low frequency vertical vibration and noise on whole-body vibration sensation. INTERNOISE 2014 - 43rd International Congress on Noise Control Engineering: Improving the World Through Noise Control. A study in Japan found the perception of strength of vibration contributing to discomfort from vehicle and machinery vibrations is possible mitigated by the addition of music to the vibration stimulus. Vibration frequencies tested included, 2, 4, 8 and 16 Hz, with 8hz having the strongest felt response (Matsuda & Machida, 2014)
Imagining in the relaxed body
Brodsky, W 2000, ‘Post-Exposure Effects of Music-Generated Vibration and Whole-Body Acoustic Stimulation Among Symphony Orchestra Musicians’, Psychology of music, vol.28.1, pp 98–115
Brodsky’s study from the field of Music Psychology looked at the effects of Vibration and Music experiences within a music and Vibro-Acoustic session using a sample of 54 Symphony Orchestra Players. Subjective reporting from participants found increased levels of relaxation and intensified depth of verbal narrative and imagination during cognitive tasks performed, and client feedback. This paper is incredibly interesting as it is one of few papers in Vibro-Acoustic research that presents a perspective of a psychological Vibration/Music experiences from a musical rather than therapeutic perspective. The researcher’s note that their findings are limited due to the scope of the study. However, the research suggests that vibrations/music experience can increase the effects of a music composition's emotional effect and level of cognition on participants.
Class notes and thoughts - week 9
Positionality - where and why are we coming from this position? Subjectivity of this focus.
Coming from a specific disciplinary perspective.
Precursor 2 - Ideas
Artefact ideat, Portfolio, Essay
Artefact: Drive folder represented ‘parts of a physical, mental and metaphoric body systems, like a symbolic system of representation of different angles of the topic.
My ‘ramblings’ and asides, and left field musings, focused on the off topic body as much as the on topic body. Poetry of vibration, earthquakes, thunder trains, motorbikes…Frequencies of planets. ‘Vibrating bodies…...recording the train, thunder, Natural phenomenon… Sound Healing…..Linking back to this idea that ‘existence’ is vibration, illness is vibrations out of whack….experience in a body, illness, relaxation, anxiety, health, frequency. Use sound and Abstract video to convey a loose narrative representation of theme and phenomenon.
The artefact will have a structure of drive folders, with curated snippets of audio, video, text, pictures, links…..
*Update* the drive idea for my artefact has been abandoned in place of a audio/visual work.
However, you can find the planned structure of my artefact drive HERE
Feelings in the body…. How are we ‘engaging’ with this drive or video, depth of thinking about the topic - helped me frame my research…….
There are so many papers I want to read in this 'ocean research', hopefully I will have time one day...
I have been trying to look at my topic via diffent lenses of perception.
As a creative outlet I wrote a piece of prose that looked at the experience of being in a body, it hardly relates to my research in any any meaningful way that could go into my thesis. The process of engaging with a fairly objective research topic - via abstract lenses feels counter intuitve to my instincts. However, it seems to be helping me see my topic from different angles. Which has helped me connect more subjectively to what interest me about the research area, whilst also arming me with differing perspectives of word arrangement in order to help explain my topic to other people. It is also way more fun and personaly rewarding to include some aspect of creativity.
(see extract below)
I really enjoyed Martina Copely's 'They refused to play, out of fear', no doubt' . I really liked how the arangment of words and pictures created a unified balanced design. I liked its focus on miniamlisim and the emphasis on interacting with ones own work as en editior within the form. I look upon Copely's work with somehwat of a level of envy in the freedom expressed in Copely's design. As in comparison, my writing seems dictated by a more scientific and systematic approach that presents other's researchers ideas and findings.
I sometimes feel that I enjoy this class so much as it is enabling me to express my creative spirit in a year that seems somewhat dictated by mostly dry readings and diminhsed time for my usual creative endeavours.
In liue of trying to force myself to get organised with my research, writing and reading I have created a draft structure and table of contents of my paper. I found it to be a incredibly fruitful activity, as it made acutely aware of my limitiation of words per section, what exactly I should be focusing my attention, and how I can link my ideas over a long form piece of writing.
I showed my plan to my supervisor, whom seemed mostly happy with it. However, he questioned the need for undertaking a practise based component within my research, as he feels I have undertaken enough reading to warrant a straight research thesis. This change in plan is evidenced by the striked out section 4 below. Another change I may make, is that instead of an experiement, I may undertake a meta-analysis of frequency and affect in the vibration literature.
Vibration, Music, Relaxation: Experiences of Frequency and Effect
Investigating the effect of frequencies used in tactile vibration, music and sound technologies to modulate physiological and psychology feelings of relaxation.
A literature review, meta-analysis and lab experiment.
Screenshot from William Kendridge's Charles Eliot Norton Lectures entitled 6 Drawing Lessons (2015)
However, the word limit is restrictive in the amount of depth required when being specific.
As such these considerations are framing my idea.
Research/Creative minds are somewhat split….So I think getting creatively inspired could be of benefit.
Looking at the ‘effect’, 'affect' and 'emotion' from a subjective experience.
The Rabbit Hole - informs part of the project that needs to inform an audience.
What do I need to tell someone who doesn't know me or my project or why I think it's important?
Audience: 2 examiners. Consistent to a genre of a honours thesis.
Comply to the genre
Feedback - Precursor
A few days after my precursor presentation I had the revelation one night that I had totaly denied the subjective experinece of being within a body, during a Vibration/Music experience. I realized how dogmatic I had been about looking at my topic from one perspective. It was as though I had taken all the air out of a room as I solely wanted to focus on a wall. Yes, I may be writing about the wall, but I need to know what else is in the room - what surrounds the wall. My thesis may be an island, but I need to see what else is in the ocean. I had become so focused on the object and cause of the affect, I had forgotten what the experience is like for the person undertaking the experience. It also made me reflect my own reasons for like Vibration/Music experiences.
ConverselyThe process of visualising the affect of sound in sand, water and digitialy creating geometric patterns and physical forms. In the video below Evan Grant further unpacks the notion of cymatics and seeing sound. He speaks of how Cyamatics is been used by scientists to help identify animal and fish calls, replicate physical forms such as snowflakes using sound as a medium, and the application of music games and theraputic interventions. In the given examples higher frequency sounds seem to create more inricate patterns. Conversley, in the literarture around Vibration therapies lower frequency sound seems to have the greatest physicaly beneficial effect.
Class Exercise: What does this word mean to you?
It is the fundamental building block of life: vibration is matter.
I love sound, sound is vibration, sound translates a feeling that can make me feel good or bad or think a certain way.
My experience of life is feeling and thinking therefore vibration underlies the basis of my existence."
There is much debate within music circles about the western conventional tuning of instruments at 440Hz. It is claimed that 432Hz is the natural frequency of the earth, and that as a consequence tuning instruments to 440Hz is harmful to human health and putting us out of touch with nature. The verdict is still out on the truthfullness of such claims, however, it is interesting to see and feel the effects of the different frequencies below. I am curious as to how to create a vibration plate for myself.
According to some researchers 440Hz made rats eat more and gain weight in comparsion to rats exposed to music tuned to 432Hz.So maybe this means western conventionaly tuned music is responsible for obesity crisis in the west!
For my Precursor 1 presentation I am looking at Vibration/Music experiences via the lens of the body.
I am using the precursor as an excuse to further persecute the vibration literature for specific heath claims in relation to the body. I am particular interested in component musical affect, such as rhtymn, pulse and freqeuncy. This is somewhat of a issue within the literature as methods for reporting aspects of variables can rather vague within some publications. Nevertheless, I have been narrowing down my research question and I have landed on the following combination of words:
The Somatron is one of many vibration/music devices available in the commercial market. This is a point of frustration within the literature as out of the multidtude of devices many are constructed differentialy (which leads to multiple variables to interpret). Each device also has slightly different methods of music/vibration output, which makes it even harder to clarify specific affect within the literature. The Somatron recliner as seen in the video below seems to work via translating the sound to vibrations via specialy designed speakers situated in the chair. This is a point of difference to RMIT's compostional or vibration/music strategy, as within the AKE lab we purposely and manualy craft each vibration/music compostion and the vibrations are not triggered in a speaker, but rather created via a specific vibration accuator.
I have comenced the collation of vibration claims and their propertied health effects, from within the systematic review literature. My hope is that I can compare frequency and affect data in the form of a meta-analysis further down the track.
1 - Therapy: ‘The Vibro Acoustic Method’ -pioneered by olav skills - 1989
Method: low vibrations and music in a chair or bed.
Music type: relaxation music, slow
Vibration range: 30-120 hz
Duration: 20 - 30 minutes
Claim: decrease in blood pressure, pulse rate, muscle oscillation
Source: Eha Rüütel M. Sc. (2002) The Psychophysiological Effects of Music and Vibroacoustic Stimulation, Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 11:1, 16-26, DOI: 10.1080/0809813020947803
Therapy: Vibroacoustic Method
Method: low vibrations and music in a chair or bed.
Music type relaxation music, slow
Vibration range/Claim: 40 - 80 hz - most effective vibrations for whole body
40 -60 hz - for reducing spasms
40 - 50hz - pain in the abdomen
Source: Eha Rüütel M. Sc. (2002) The Psychophysiological Effects of Music and Vibroacoustic Stimulation, Nordic Journal of Music Therapy, 11:1, 16-26, DOI: 10.1080/0809813020947803
Researchers: (Skille, 1989; Skille et al., 1989; Skille & Wigram, 1995)
2 -Therapy: The Vibro Acoustic Method
Vibration range: 40hz (between D#1 & D1)
Claim: “considered to coincide with the vibratory frequency of the hypothalamic area and has an essential role in regulating cognitive processes, above all in the mechanisms of selective attention” (p.17 Rüütel, E, 2002)
Source: Lehikoinen (1994)
Researchers: Galambos, Llinas, Makeing, Ribary, Naatanen
3 -Therapy: The Vibro Acoustic Method
Music: Spectrum Suite" by Stephen Halperna
& Spectrum Suite “with a low frequency pulsating tone with the set of frequency values equal to 68,38,41, 50, 55, and 63 Hz. This selection of frequencies within a relatively wide range was chosen for the following reasons: (a) to study the effects of the low frequency component as a whole and to exclude the specific effects of one concrete frequency (p.18)
Aparatus: vibroacoustic bed with 6 built in amplifiers.
Diagnostic: Blood pressure and pulse rate - digital electronic blood pressure monitor (Omron HEM 405-C).
Oscillation fr of relaxation
Study: experimental study (24 healthy uni students) 6 x 22 minute sessions of different conditions. “Six different conditions were used: music with two different intensity levels, vibroacoustics (the same music with low frequency sinusoidal pulsating sound) with two different intensity levels, and silence (no stimulation) two times. According to the rotation method 12 different trial plans (different orders of conditions) were used”
After the pivot from last week I have been trying to re-focus on a research topic/question within the context of tactile vibrations and music. I understand my supervisor's criticism, as my initial idea to look at the Rhythmic Affect of Tempo to create physiologial and pyschological affect within a film. ie. speed of sound,music, editing, vision, was far to a lofty undertaking for honours (or a PHD). Given I am also writing a systematic review this year, my lecture questioned me taking on a secondary research inquiry to that which I am already undertaking.
As such I have settled on looking at the component affect within vibration/music experienes and potentialy looking at frequency or amplitude to create modulate affect within a vibration/music experience.
The positives of this topic is there is extensive literature to draw from within the field of Vibration/Music. As an added bonus I am currently I am filtering thousands of search results from 3 database searches (Ebsco, ProQuest and Scopus) for this systematic review which is bringing my attention to lots of helpful (and not so helpful) papers.
In the excel spreadsheet of results below, green is a good paper, yellow is open for discussion and red is a paper of no-relavance to the research question.
I think about risk, I think about where I postion myself. I think about failing and suceeding.
I think about the risk of doing honours when I feel so burnt out, sometimes sitting with adversity leads to good things (I certainly hope so).
What is meant by risk? What is meant by failure? It is ok to fail.
Failure is just information! Hard scientists come up with lots of failure.
The findings from the paper below are rather exciting to me , as the researchers found that Vibration sound at 2>10Hz had the affect of lowering hyper-arousal in insomnia patient - which resulted in increased sleep and feelings of relaxation. I am personaly excited by this as a insomniac I always noticed my sleep improved on days I worked on vibration music in the lab. The intricatices of how the brain responds to sound and vibration fascinates me! The paper hypotheissed that tactile vibration oscilations at a particular frequency, can have the affect of overiding signals of hyper-arousal in the brain, as the neural oscilations entrain to the tactile oscilations, equatining to increased functional connectivity and lowered hyper-arousal.
I really enjoyed this week's reading by Anna Gibbes. I was especialy interested by the mention of Lefebvrbe's concept of Rhythmnanalyis - which led me to tracking down his collected works and reading a significant portion of it. I found his theory of looking at the holistic aspects of interlinking stimuli, movement and rhythm within an enviroment, as a very interesting way to interepret affect and reality. As a percusionist I have often thought of such concepts, so it is humbling to come across such ideas in a philsophical sense. The subsequent question that arises in my mind is: if you can interpret rhythmn, culture and reality and being a collection of intervweaving rhythmns - what sort of rhythmns are they, and how do you analyse and quantify that sort of data?
Notes from Lefebvrbe's Rhythmnanalysis
Corporal Rhythmn - The rhythms of the body help determine the speed and rhythmn of an enviroment
Repetition gives birth to difference. Using the example counting, 1, 2, 3….
Cyclic time originates in the cosmos - days, nights, waves, seasons, weather, last for a long time and then repeat/restart. Ie. dawn
Linear time - human construct, monotony of action and movement,
Time & Space - cyclic repetition via linear repetition - ‘a dialectic relationship (unity in opposition)’
Rhythm appears natural and spontaneous, yet it always has a ‘measure’.
Music, poetry, dance, gymnastics,work (all have a measure)
Rhythm denotes measure…
I have started constructing a very systematic drive structure for my research. Each class has a folder for each week's lecture, whereas I upload notes, screenshots and annotated readings. After 3 years of full time study/research, this feels like the closest I have achived to a workable system. As my handwriting is often flippant and hard to decipher, and I end of with radom pieces of paper and books everywhere full of hard to interpret disparate thoughts and notes.
Initialy I was planning on studying rhythm and affect, until a meeting with my supervisor resulted in a pivot to vibration and frequency for affect. I was really excited and passionate about my initial research topic. I am reluctantly pivoting to a vibration topic I have worked on in the AKE lab during my undergraduate degree. It may be easier for me in the sense, that the research area is somewhat charted territtory.
I read a paper that suggested I write in order to help me find some clarity in discovering a research topic..
This is my first attempt at using this exercise to find such clarity. Strangely enough, writing has become quite a cumbersome and loathsome activity to me that I used to be passionate (for most of my life) until I fell madly in love with music!
This word keeps circulating around my head 'tempo'...
I try to unpick my fascination with the topic, speed, time, speed and time and affect.
Events in time, vibrations of objects at different speeds in time, multisenory informtation.
Reception context. Drumming at differeing speeds, the effect of drumming at different speeds, entrainment...
Why do events in time illicit particular responses?
Does the tempo of sensory events change or create feelings of stress/relaxtion in different enviroments and different contexts?
What effect can be garnered from creating sonic works with more than two simultaenous tempos?
Does the tempo of nature sounds create different affects for a human listener?
Does repetive drumming at different speeds create a physiological and pyschological efefct for the drummer and listener?
"You can’t control what you discover in research, you go in looking and find something out."
Melody Ellis - Week 1 - Knowledge Presentation
The quest for knowledge