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Sonic Self Portraits and Multi Sensory Memories

Matthew DF Evans is a sound artist, musician and Doctoral Researcher at Integra Lab (Royal Birmingham Conservatoire) exploring pixel data sonificaiton (making sound from image) for the creation of performance, installation and composition. In 2019 Evans premiered Collide (Vivid Projects Birmingham) an interactive pixel data sonificaiton installation that uses movement to create generative sound, visuals and haptic feedback. RGB data is analyzed of the viewer and converted into these multiple mediums with the sonic output being processed by the SUBPAC. By converting image into sound, sound into image and finally into a physical sensation, Collide aims to create a multi sensorial installation experience that explores the feedback between the relationship of disparate mediums.

In July 2019 the arts council funded ‘R e f l e c t’ an installation with Sense UK that explores the notion of self through a multi-sensory experience. A mirror traditionally provides only visual representation for the user. In the case of R e f l e c t, a camera housed in a mirror turns visual representation into a sonic one through the process of sonification. As a person looks into the mirror, movement and expression are tracked and converted into sound and vibration (via the SUBPAC) creating a 'sonic self portrait.' The aim is to create a deeply tangible exploration of identity that can be experienced by those with and without complex disabilities.

Evans is also working on pioneering research to explore how pixel data sonification and haptic feedback can create a multisensory experience of photographs. A photograph can hold particularly poignant emotional value for preserving the memory for those who are no longer alive. By utilising the process of pixel data sonification that data could be used to trigger sounds or a generate a composition. In the process of converting an image into sound, the SUBPAC can be integrated into the sonification process to allow for the greater amplification of the tangible qualities of sound. In doing so a photograph could be both heard and felt. This could allow for an integrated multisensory experience of a photograph and in doing so, a photograph could become a way of hearing and feeling a person once more.


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