The sound design project for Renault Symbioz (in collaboration with IRCAM and Renault Innovation Lab) has received a nomination from the Audio Branding Academy, an international group of professionals, for “Better Sound 2018” – International Sound Awards.
A new electric autonomous demo car, the Renault Symbioz represents Renault’s vision of the automobile for 2030. The car was unveiled at the Frankfort Motor Show in 2017 and journalists had the chance to test it. To curate the sonic aspects of this project, in 2016 an industrial collaboration was initiated between Renault’s Design/Innovation Lab departments, and IRCAM’s Sound Perception and Design Team, represented by engineer-researcher Nicolas Misdariis, and sound designer Andrea Cera. The Renault Symbioz sound design project offered two challenges: the design of an external sound to warn pedestrians of the vehicle’s presence, and the design of a collection of sounds for the car’s interior.
Another work with coreographer Francesca Foscarini, hypnotically interpreted by Romain Guion – Biennale Danza in Venice. Made with this Japanese imitation Telecaster from the 80’s (HB) and a some Max/MSP processing.
This is the stand designed by Traverso-Vighy architects for L&L (Italian brand of lighting systems), in occasion of the Light + Building 2018 trade fair.
For this project I created a low-intrusiveness soundscape, experimenting on convergences with the features of the lights design. Our goal was to create a peaceful space, an oasis of tranquillity in the usually chaotic ambience of trade fairs : the semi-closed design of the space gives a feeling of privacy, while the semi-transparent nature of some of its elements prevents a sense of claustrophobic separation. We wanted to avoid the use of background music, which adds up to the general sonic confusion of a trade fair soundscape and, in the long run, fatigues the attention processes of the people working in the stand. We decided to use only concrete sounds (field recordings + procedural audio made with MaxMSP) and to articulate them following a structure of breathing cycles.
(photos by Giovanni Traverso)
There are two cycles. The fast one repeats at 8,5 seconds intervals, the slow one at 1 minute intervals. The faster cycle functions almost like a LFO modulation of the overall amplitude. The slower cycle controls the long cross-fading between audio materials. The lights works in the same way for each RGB channel : the fast cycle controls the relative fades, whose actual boundaries are set by the slow circle. A MaxMSP patch sends a sync signal to the lights controllers, every 3 minutes. The loudspeakers are hidden in the architecture, and it is almost impossible to locate them acoustically; the sounds are diffused at very low amplitudes, which makes the installation very fragile acoustically (a change in number of visitors can make the sounds almost disappear).
In 2016 I collaborated with IRCAM and Renault on the signature of the Renault Trezor engine sound. You can listen to the engine sound it in this teaser (mixed with music) :
Or, with more details, in the following video, where I used in-car-camera footage to have a visual ground to help me develop the race-car components of the sound :
The sound of the Trezor is based on the Zoé sound signature, which we created in 2010/2011, but features a different personality, somewhat unpredictable and dangerous, with traces of combustion race engines, meant to evoke the voice of the great sport cars of the 60s and 70s.
A new collaboration with ricci/forte, presented in July 2017 at the Festival dei Due Mondi in Spoleto. The music used in this trailer is inspired by the soundtracks of Dario Argento’s movies, and slowly degraded using Open Music. Listen to the whole track here :
In 2016 and 2017 I collaborated with Antonio Camurri’s team (University of Genova / Dipartimento di Informatica, Bioingegneria, Robotica e Ingegneria dei Sistemi), imagining strategies for the sonification of expressive qualities of dance.
This is an example of the sonification system we designed (EyesWeb and MaxMSP) at work in “Esodi”, a choreography by Virgilio Sieni (Genova, Palazzo Reale, 27.03.2017). “Esodi” is a performance for a large number of non-professional dancers (citizens of Genova). We used the sonifications to create a form of cohesion among performers located in different rooms of the Palazzo.
The sonification system is based on these features : EyesWeb part 1 : analysis of Fluidity, Lightness, Fragility, and other features. MaxMSP : sonification of each quality (2 granular engines, 2 microloops engines, 1 [agents + emerging behavior] engine). EyesWeb part 2 : mixing of the sonification channels, based on Salience.
This is another example of the full sonification process. The dancer is Virgilio Sieni.
Another example : in this case, we were working on the analysis and sonification of fragility.
Back to my roots : contemporary dance and the pleasure of exploring whatever musical form the project may hint at (in this case, improvisations with an old EKO Ekomaster 400 found in a garage sale, coupled with a few drum samples – to be played very loud).