Remembering Music: Variations on Poem 4 (Visual Poetry)

I’ve been working with the idea of using a single poem across multiple media, creating variations of a poem. I have shared the basic text and then I spiced it up a bit with Notegraphy. Today, I share out the poem as rendered in a site called Visual Poetry, that allows you to “paint” the canvas with words. Nifty.
remembering music cloud

Peace (in the variation),
Kevin

Reflecting on the Lights in the Attic

glowdoodling

This “selfie” was taken using an intriguing online application out of MIT called Glow Doodle. The site tracks light in a slow motion way, giving you the sense of light moving across the image. I kept hoping it would create  video — sort of a like time-lapse exposure — but all I could figure out was to screenshot it, and get an image file. (I am holding a flashlight here, if you are wondering what is generating the light). I also included a musical interpretation of Shel Silverstein’s A Light in the Attic poem.

This past week, at the Making Learning Connected MOOC, a group out of Philadelphia that works with youth — Maker Jawn — facilitated activities and discussions around the theme of “light” and how light can inform a story. It’s been intriguing, as always, to watch what people do with an idea, and how — just like light — the idea can get bent along different creative frequencies and then shown on the virtual wall for all of us to see. The result has been poems, shadow videos, paper circuitry, and more. I worked to create a collaborative constellation/star chart project, complete with origin stories of new constellations, and I think it came out pretty neat.

CLMOOC StarChart Complete (1)

I also was trying to work with audio, in relation to light. I know this sounds rather contradictory, but I felt it was important for me to explore this contradiction. The question I wondered about: how can we represent light by using nothing more than audio? Two projects emerged from this inquiry stance. First, I created a soundscape story of a day from sunrise to sunset, with the light of the day being the stopwatch. Second, I converted the star chart that we created into an audio file, using a program that takes the pixels of a picture and converts those data points into sound. Listening to “light” gave me another angle on which to consider light, and it was an intriguing experience.

Light Rock
(I have been creating webcomics during every CLMOOC Make Cycle … just because ..)

Interestingly, some of the struggles with the theme of “light as story” has led to discussions about what our concept of “story” really is, and that discussion will feed into a Google Hangout this coming week. When I mull over some of the best elements of the CLMOOC, it is exactly those kinds of inquiry. What is “story”? I’m still thinking about what this means as a writer and as a teacher of young writers ….

 

And a little bonus, as I worked with my son in the Garageband App to create a CLMOOC song, of sorts.

Peace (in the light),
Kevin

Viewing the CLMOOC Constellation Chart

As we start to think about the last Make Cycle at the Making Learning Connected MOOC and begin to reflect on the past Make Cycle with its theme of “light,” I wanted to share out the final Constellation Map that was created with collaboration this week. I opened up the night sky for people to come in, draw constellations and share out origin stories. The result is pretty interesting. I decided to use our own friend, ThingLink, to share the CLMOOC Constellation Map because I could easily layer the stories on the map itself.

Here it is. Lean back on the dewy grass and gaze up at the night sky. Imagine your own stories. Create your own constellations. Play with light and dark, and the way they come together:

Thanks to everyone who participated by playing with the stars and writing a story. It was a blast.

Peace (in the sky),
Kevin

What Light Sounds Like (Turning Image to Audio)

CLMOOC StarChart Complete
Now this is cool … as part of my exploration of audio and light with the Making Learning Connected MOOC this week, I stumbled across the idea of taking an image and converting into an audio file … quite literally. I’ve been trying to find some easy software to do it for my Mac, to no avail, and instead, went to my PC netbook with some freeware called AudioPaint that only works on the PC.

This what it says about the process at the AudioPaint site:

A picture is actually processed as a big frequency / time grid. Each line of the picture is an oscillator, and the taller the picture is, the higher the frequency resolution is. While the vertical position of a pixel determines its frequency, its horizontal position corresponds to its time offset.

I took the collaborative Star Chart that we have been constructing in the CLMOOC and put it through AudioPaint and then moved my way into Audacity. Check out what the file looks like in wave form:

star chart audio wave

Wow, right?

Now, take a “listen” to the image of the CLMOOC Star Map.

OK. I tinkered a bit with the file and added a little narration under the file. Not quite subliminal, but getting there.

:)

Peace (in the sound of light),
Kevin

 

 

Remembering Music: Variations on a Poem 2 (Kinetic Typography)

Draft Remembering Music
(The rough draft of the poem, complete with scribbles and such)

I have this single poem that I wrote (Remembering Music) and I am moving it across media platforms as part of a variation of writing with media this week. I am curious about how the poem looks in different formats, and what I find as I work on it.

This second version of the poem uses some kinetic typography, but I have to admit — I never really found a way to do it that I liked. I spent a lot of time, looking for an inexpensive way and there just isn’t much out there. (We need an app for that!) Vimeo has an entire channel dedicated to kinetic typography.

I am sharing out two forms of kinetic typography with the poem.
First, I used Prezi. I really tried to play with the text, and with some small images, to make the words and visual flow work in partnership with the poem. It worked well enough but I wish the transitions were automatic, so I could control the flow of the poem for the reader. But, maybe I give that agency to you, dear reader. Click away.

I also used Keynote to create a version (exported to Youtube as video). I am not all happy with the result, which I find rather boring (despite the time I spent tinkering with animation on it). Plus, the visual quality of the converted presentation-into-video is poor. Anyway ..

Peace (in the variation),
Kevin

Remembering Music: Variations on a Poem 1

I’m exploring the idea of playing with using a single poem, as told in different formats. I wrote this as part of a weekly writing prompt — which is connected to a National Writing Project writing marathon underway in New Orleans called Finding Your Muse — and I wondered how the poem would look/hear/read through the lens of different media.

So today, I present the poem as text only. Tomorrow, I will try something else with the poem.

Remembering Music:

Remembering melodies buried deep

notes and stories mingled together with harmonies

echoing out beneath street corner lights;

Remembering Music:

Remembering me, miles away,

with headphones slotted into spinning discs,

the map to a musical adventure moving into

the landscape of Louisiana;

Remembering Music:

Remembering New Orleans in syncopated rhythms

and rich architecture of sounds,

crafting the heartbeat ambiance of jazz,

the pulse of America becoming the soundtrack

of a nation finding itself;

Remembering Music

Peace (in the variations on a theme),
Kevin

Soundscape Story: From Sunrise to Sunset

Sunrise 2014-07-06 1
I’ve been challenging myself to do something around the theme of “light” this week at the Making Learning Connected MOOC, using only audio to tell a story. I failed at it many times. It turns out that telling a story completely with sounds is pretty difficult, even with the experience I had doing this with DS106 earlier this year. I had one story idea of someone wandering through a dark house, lighting candles. I had another one with an alien invasion. They didn’t work and those stories were abandoned.

Finally, I realized I should stay simple and soulful …. I should create a soundscape story of a day that begins with the light of sunrise and ends with fading into sunset, as told from someone reading a book. The audio becomes the story the reader is reading. I still had troubles here. I struggled with how to represent parts of the day in audio only, and then realized I could use church bells ringing out the hours as a sort of anchor point for the listener.

All the sounds come from Freesound.org, where people openly post and share out sounds they have recorded.  Just know … I didn’t record any of the sounds. I pulled them together in Audacity editing software to produce the story, so I am appreciative of the Freesound users for sharing their sounds with the world. (See list of credits at the end of this post of the audio files I used)

You will hear an odd sound near the end of the story. This was created by someone using a software program that turns a bitmap of an image into audio wave files. The image he used is of the moon. So the sound is of an audio interpretation of a picture of a moon, if that makes sense. I want to dig around for that software program, because I think it has possibilities for storytelling, right?

I can’t say I am completely happy with the results of From Sunrise to Sunset, and I am left wondering: Does the story drag on? Does it capture the splendid beauty of morning as light hits the world? The liveliness of the day as we move about under the sun? The slow settling of the night as the Earth turns away from the sun? Is light even really a theme, here? Or just an artificial storytelling construct? You know, I got questions for myself.

Sunset in Tazacorte

I am making the soundscape story downloadable for anyone to remix, as part of the ethos of the CLMOOC.

Peace (in the story of light coming and light going),
Kevin

Sound Clip Credits:

  • Pages of Book Turning 1 and 2
  • Church Bells ringing at noon and 6
  • Sound of the moon
  • Rooster in the morning
  • Dusk insect sounds
  • Daytime street sounds

Bottom of the Ninth: Two Versions, One Story

Yesterday, I wrote about my son being in the free Apple Story Movie Camp, and how I was able to storyboard out a story, too. When we went home, we shot video footage for his movie (which came out great!) and then he agreed to be the actor in my movie, which is called Bottom of the Ninth. I wanted to do it all on the iPad only, with iMovie app.

Here’s how it came out:

But I also tried another version, using the PicPlayPost app, which is a video collage. I like the iMovie version better but it is interesting to see the story in this format.

Peace (in the vid),
Kevin

Reinventing the Night: A Star Chart/Constellation Collaboration

star chart
With the theme of light this week at the Making Learning Connected MOOC, I have launched an invitation to people to help me create a new set of constellations, and origin stories, in the night sky by opening up four “star charts” that I have created in Google Drawing.

Anyone can come on in and add some star clusters and then write a short origin story. I hadn’t thought about it until Amy did it, but adding the story right into the Google Drawing as a comment makes great sense. I wrote out instructions and the four star charts (north, south, east, west) are open and editable by anyone.

Check out the instructions on how to add to the star charts

Or go to the charts:

You come, too. Add some stars. Make a constellation. Write your story. Collaborate with points of light.

Here is mine:

clmoocius spelledoutius

In the north sky, in mid July of 2014, the giant Makers of the Universe gathered together and noticed that on the small planet below, the Earthians had relied so much on consuming that they had forgotten creating. The Makers of the Universe decided to send a sign to the Earthians, something to help them remember that their hands were designed to make things and their minds were designed to invent things and solve problems, and the #CLMOOC constellation was born. The Makers of the Universe moved the stars into a cluster, confident that with the light of the CLMOOC shining down on the planet, a movement would be born and inspiration would be found. And it was so.

 

Peace (in the sky),
Kevin