Draft for Final

Last year I’ve composed a song representing my feelings after coming to ITP. Now I edited this song and selected part of the instrument tracks and created a new midi.

The tracks are now like this:

I like these tiny little note drops, they look so nice:

I’m wondering if I can change them in a random way, just like John Cage’s Chance Operation.

Right now I’m thinking about two ways to achieve that. The first is to use Python to recreate it (here’s a tutorial I found):

And if I can’t do it ideally, I’ll change it manually by changing the chords, or even making the instrument combinations not neat chords any more.

Right now the instrument tracks I’ve selected are like this:

It’s a very standard pop music format (even without the vocal/melody track). I’m looking forward to making it unrecognizable!

Subtraction Midterm

I just wanna make a very simple desk shelf.

Firstly I drew a draft it in AI. (I just planned to try, and if it works I’ll add more designs, but…)

Then I encountered unexpected problems when I imported it into Vectorworks, and then MasterCam.

I realized maybe it’s because of the combination of shapes.

I tried importing the file directly from AI, it’s even worse.

I adjusted the drawing in AI and drew it again, but MasterCam and CNC had problem recognizing my drawing.

CNC told me it needed 17 hours to cut it. RIDICULOUS!

Then Ben told me that’s because when I drew it in Vectorworks, the shapes covered each other altogether, so it got multiple layers, which led to trouble.

Finally I drew the shapes in Vectorworks. And it worked!

Since I spent too much time on re-editing the format of my drawings, my design is awful. This shelf is so shaky and I think I need to add some stakes for it to stand stably.

After fixing it, it can stand by itself stably right now:

Assignment 3: John Cage and experimental music

John Cage reminds us that EVERYTHING WE DO IS MUSIC.

His main concept of composition is: Using any sounds in any environment, including noises; Using “chance” to select the order; Giving up structures; Using silence; Broadly using other methods, like electronics and visuals.

All of Cage’s music since 1951 was composed using chance procedures, most commonly using the I Ching.

Cage’s composition is influenced by Eastern Philosophy. His method of using the I Ching was far from simple randomization. The procedures varied from composition to composition, and were usually complex. For example, in the case of Cheap Imitation, the exact questions asked to the I Ching were these:

  1. Which of the seven modes, if we take as modes the seven scales beginning on white notes and remaining on white notes, which of those am I using?
  2. Which of the twelve possible chromatic transpositions am I using?
  3. For this phrase for which this transposition of this mode will apply, which note am I using of the seven to imitate the note that Satie wrote?

Cage discovered Chance. Since chance procedures were used by Cage to eliminate the composer’s and the performer’s likes and dislikes from music, Cage disliked the concept of improvisation, which is inevitably linked to the performer’s preferences.

From mid-20 century, Chance has been increasingly popular because of Cage’s promotion.

RWET Assignment 3

Firstly I tried rearranging all the sentences of a lyric (poem) I’ve written. This is how it is like originally:

And I rearranged the lines:

The sentences changed their orders, but the feeling it expresses is still the same.

Then I tried randomly shuffle 10 percent-length lines from the whole poems:

So it will randomly select 10% length and runs like this:

And I tried getting rid of the empty lines and printing the last word of every line:

Subtraction Assignment 4: JOINERY

Based on the blog Ben showed us during class, I planned to make a simple joinery like this:

So I drew two files:

And I picked the first one to cut.

The biggest mistake I made is cutting that middle line by CNC – it was too wide, more like a rectangle, but I just wanted to cut the square apart.

So I kept the heart shapes and cut the square again. It was exactly the same file, but the heart shape showed differently. And the pockets showed like contours.

Finally my joinery was like this. It almost fit, but it was awful and breaks very easily. I think it’s because of the shape, which should be narrow in the middle and wide at both ends, but the heart shape doesn’t meet the requirement.

It’s a terrible trying and I think I can do better next time.

Subtraction Assignment 3: CAD, CAM, CNC

On Friday, I tried everything the first time. I drew a face through Vecterworks, and found a piece of wood from shop, then cut it.

At that time, the bit I bought hadn’t arrive, so I used the 1/2 straight bit in shop.

Since the wood I found was two small, I realized it was incomplete and dangerous.

So I went to Home Depot on Sunday, and bought a large piece of plywood.

This time I used the 1/4 bit I bought, and drew an emoji in Illustrator. I adjusted its size in Illustrator (which can’t be adjusted in Vectorworks) and imported it into Vectorworks.

After finishing cutting, I polished it.

And that’s it!

Assignment 2: Chaotic lyrics about Syracuse

I’ve wrote a song Snow Town (both lyric and melody) when I was attending Syracuse University. As everyone knows, Syracuse snows a lot, so this song depicts the snow scenes there, and also describes my feelings of the city when I was there.

I just translated the lyric into English:

I was inspired by my favorite Chinese Romantic poet Feng Zhi, and I wrote this lyric also to show my respect to him.

Then based on what I’ve been learning in Alison’s class, I tried using Python to re-construct this lyric.

When I wrote this lyric, it’s totally in the romantic atmosphere. It’s my personal phyco-geographical experience of that specific place. It expresses kind of loneliness and depression.

But after I transform the lyric by using words like “anyway”, “whatever”, and randomly added the sentence “twinkle twinkle little star” into it, the lyric was changed like this:

I don’t know so much about drawing or visual designing, but from a writer’s point of view, words matter a lot. When we depict some specific scenes or feelings, the changes of key words would change the whole feeling of the context.

When I depicted the weather and feeling in Snow Town, readers or listeners can all feel the depression. But when I added “anyway” and “whatever”, it is more like a black humor, rather than purely loneliness or sadness. And I think it may somehow twist the original reality and express it psycho-geographically, in the context of Derive.

And I also tried re-ordered the lines:

RWET Assignment 2

Firstly I wanted to try a Chinese poem, but it showed question marks on every line. Even I’ve adjusted the length of lines for several times, I still could not get rid of them.

So I went back to English. I picked George Gordon Byron’s “When We Two Parted” to be my experimental subject.

I wrote a Python program like this:

I randomly chose two common oral phrases “amazing” and “oh yeah”, and inserted them into the poem. So the poem was changed like this:

Subtraction Assignment 2: Mill

This week I was planning to cut some Chinese characters.

Firstly I chose a classical font called Seal Character, and transformed the format into SVG through PS and AI.

Then I set everything and started to cut.

After the machine finished, I found that the first character showed only the outline, but lost all its details. I realized that it was because of the thickness of my 1/8 Flat End Mill – maybe 1/16 can work better.

But without other mills, I decided to sand it and restart.

This time I chose the regular script with traditional Chinese character.

But on the half way when it was cutting, the wood moved and everything was ruined. I thought myself should be blamed for not stick it tight enough.

Then I picked another wood piece and tried the third time.

This time I picked cursive script from Chinese calligraphy. Because the characters are cursive, the details will not matter that much.

I set everything carefully, and I stayed with the machine. It worked quite well.

But after 20 minutes, the wood started to move again. Because the tape absorbed too much dust, it could not stick the wood as it was able to. At the moment when I saw it moved, I hit the “pause” button.

Then I found the tape was not able to work any more. So I got the wood out from the machine, and stick new tapes on it, then put it back.

But the position may have changed a little bit, so the mill made two holes on my wood. When I noticed that, I got my wood out of the machine, and polished it as well as I could.

I’m still not satisfied, but I could not get more time or more woods… so this is what I finally got: