Noise Intercepted Collaborators

Filipe Lopes - Composer and PhD Student


Austin and Porto, Portugal

Why do I want to participate?

Noise is a part of what I consider important to define space and sound relationships and I am interested in questioning/finding/investigating about sound/space and identity. The search for a sound space unity, grounded on sound performance, lead me to question the identity of a sound space relationship and how both interfere with each other. ///some bio thingies

Filipe Lopes was born in 1981, in Porto. In 2003 he graduated in Music Education at Porto Superior School of Education. In 2007 he completed a degree in Composition at Superior School of Music and Performing Arts (ESMAE), developing strong bonds with electronic music and new media. In 2006 he won the prize “best experimental audio” at Festival Black&White and in 2007 was awarded an artistic residency at Miso Music Portugal (LEC). In 2009 he finished his master's degree at Sonology, in the Hague, creating Õdaiko, a software for live-score generation. He taught electronic music at ESMAE between 2009 and 2011, creating the ensemble 343. From September 2010 till August 2012 he curated the project Digitópia, at Casa da Música, where he was already developing intensive work since 2007. He developed workshops, concerts and software related to music education. At the moment, he has a schoolaship by Fundação da Ciência e Tecnologia (FCT), pursuing a PhD in Digital Media at Universidade do Porto and UT Austin. Supervised by Carlos Guedes and Bruce Pennycook, his area of investigation includes sound, space and identity.



Challenge 4 – Listen to the same song over and overNoise Challenge #4: The Soundtrack

For this challenge, I decided to hear John Cage interludes for prepared piano!

I was in love for this piece before but to hear it again, so many times, made me hear what is unheard the first few times. From the smallest details to the silent parts, to the decay times… Is like seeing each pixel in an image. Your sound detail gets more and more acute. This is no surprise as Pierre Schaffer denotes! It was actually one of his aims to be able to separate sound from source to listen to it as music.

As a person that as been reading, making and involved on new electronic/electroacoustic/new media music I was aware of some of the possible outcomes. Actually I was testing some of them…If in the first moments I was listening to the piece, after some repetitions I was “day dreaming” of electronic music related stuff. Mostly about my undergoing PhD ;)

It was hard to listen so many times to the same thing. As a composer and sound enthusiast I felt compelled to stop listen to the same things…


Challenge 2 – Little ThingsNoise Challenge #2: The Little Things

Soundscapes are dynamic by definition!

More than being dynamic, they are repetitive. No! They, actually, are cyclical. Never repeating themselves but yet maintaining their identity.

Nevertheless, a time cycle clear changes soundscapes. Allowing us to hear “a different orchestra”. That cycle is night and day!

Soundscapes repeat themselves but yet, they change very dramatically during the course of 24 hours.

For this challenge I recorded my backyard during day and during night.

The same thing with two different sounds, thus, enabling me to hear new elements. Night, especially, really brings out little sounds and small elements to our attention. In a way, night amplifies sounds.

(apologies for the not so good recording… wind constantly changing!)



Challenge 1 – City soundNoise Challenge #1: The Pulse

At the moment, I am living in Austin (TX) but I am from Porto (PT).

I have been here since January and will stay until April. The sonic environment of Austin mixes many different sounds but I find relevant and intriguing the nature sounds present all over the city (birds, especially!) with electric sounds and car sounds. I don’t think there is industrials sounds, but definitely traffic sounds.

A city sound or a city noise is always considered with regards to a reference. My sonic focus has been targeted at sounds that make up the environment that I do not notice in my hometown.

1) I hear frequently electricity noise all over the city. This happens because all the electric wires are not buried on ground (like in my hometown) but are on open air. There is a constant “hmmm” running all over the city! I have recorded a walk in the University Campus and you can hear it

2)  In Austin, the stores are never in closed spaces like shopping malls. Even if they are on the same area, they will be in separate “houses”, next to the other. One is forced always to go outside if wishes to visit a different store. It is common practice music being played inside stores but I did found rather annoying music playing outside (although is was Radiohead!). I could not pay attention to people speaking, the wind chimes or the birds. Maybe it is because Austin is “the capital of live music”…

3) Weird electromagnetism happening while recording the sound of the toaster at home! In a way it become very explicit both the sounds of nature (birds), toaster and magnetism of some sort.