Nomadic Noise Residency Collaborators

Kyle Duffield - Interactive / New Media Artist


Toronto, Canada


Kyle Duffield is a Toronto-based intermedia artist who works in a range of mediums, such as painting, interactive installation, and video. His primary works tend to combine audio, video, and various electronic devices into immersive interactive installations. In 2011, he graduated from Ontario College of Art and Design University with a major in Integrated Media and a minor in Digital and Media Studies.  Kyle is continuing to work in a variety of mediums and is currently focusing on creating interactive works in the realm of expanded cinema. The Nomadic Noise Residency is of great interest to me because I feel that it offers the right context to develop experimental work as a product of observation and experience.  I am interested in creating sound works as they pertain to the specific characteristics of a space/place and I feel that the structure of this residency would allow me the opportunity to explore this with interesting and likeminded individuals.    My Website



HiveNomadic Residency Adventure #4

This is the final project that’s going to be exhibited. I’m bringing in the expertise of Daniele Hopkins, as the idea is an amalgamation of concepts we’ve been working with, and discussions of thoughts that were generated through this residency (particularly surrounding the second sound adventure).

The piece is called Hive. Essentially, we’re building a sculptural hive of speakers using found and fabricated parts, which will have a pulsating, droning, but changing sound composition. The hive will have 6-7 channels of audio, each channel likely governing 3-4 speakers. The ultimate goal is to make it interactive, but some of the tracking logic is still being figured out (I’ve made some progress). The idea is that when people approach different sides it starts to affect the sound composition, creating the experience of an organism/instrument/speaker hybrid.

Being that it’s an unconventional speaker design, we’ll be documenting our process as we go along at As such, things are subject to change during the development of this project.


Step SequenceNomadic Residency Adventure #2

This is the ideas generated from the Nomadic Noise Residency Adventure #2. Of the areas we were given to explore I chose to explore was the lower level of Union Station.

What I noticed is that there were corridors of speakers overhead that are fairly consistently spaced apart. I heard a crackle from one of the speakers which was repeated through all the speakers in a corridor because the line in was mirrored. As you pass through the corridor, you inevitably experience the doppler effect and therefore walk through various points (nodes) of sound. As a result, I thought “What if this can be used for an aesthetic effect? How can this be used not only to create a spatial composition, but can an experience be created by taking advantage of pre-existing architectural infrastructures (various speakers and cameras which are mostly used for communication or surveillance). I picture different frequencies distributed in different corridors to create a larger nexus of sound that can be explored and encourage passage through a structure. I find that sound / music, is often (traditionally) thought of as a linear composition, rather than a network, let alone one that can be experienced in a relative fashion. Even surround sound compositions often expect that the viewer sits “dead center” for optimal experience rather than taking advantage of the spatial setup.

Diagram of "Step Sequence" Lower Union Station

Reality Check:

Obviously, this depends on the limits of the infrastructure, and realistically, most buildings are privately owned with a sole business function in mind. Also, any technological infrastructures are often meant for safety or communication, therefore obstructing these systems disrupts the function of the business. So, this idea in actuality would never work in a place like Unioin Station, because it is a transit point, they want you to move through it, not stop and observe, however, perhaps there is a building that would be willing to lend its infrastructure? I think it is especially important if this were the case, to work with the motives of the building to enhance the experience of its clientele, not in a marketing way, but to enhance users perception of ambience. When creating interactive art, one has to make many assumptions about the behaviour and how to psychologically engage people. When looking at how architecture affects behaviour by modifying peoples pace and flow, I think works can be created by taking advantage of how people are already “interacting” by simply being within a space, and affect this further by making them by engaging and observing their surroundings.

I noticed that there were two main spaces in lower Union. Both had a contrast of pace and architectural function:

1) The corridors that channeled pedestrian flow and routing them to/from the trains.

2) Waiting areas where everyone looked static and bored, which had a fairly ineffective interactive media component…which seemed more like an advertisement than anything.

I think it would be an interesting exercise to design a “user” experience to reduce bordom, in the vein of public activities in the waiting areas and conversely, create some sort of aesthetic experience that takes advantage of the fact of people in transit. I have some ideas but they’re not necessarily sound related so that’s another tangent altogether…

Automating Re-AmpNomadic Residency Adventure #1

Automating Re-Amp


This is more of an idea generated from the concepts in the Hark CBC Radio suggested material while I was participating in the sound walk. So it’s just idea jamming and might not go anywhere so I’m using this as my public sketchbook. Sorry if it has a bit of a talking out loud feel.

Building upon the idea that the soundscape within a site (obviously) changes through time, I thought about recording a space within a frame (i.e., the duration of a recording), playing it back and playing it back while re-recording, and repeating the process many times (this is called re-amping). By successively

Did a bit of research a famous piece that incorporated this effect (although this is effect is common in recording studios…but not in this way) was Alvin Lucier’s “I’m Sitting in a Room” where he played back a recording of himself many times until the sound becomes reduced to the natural resonant frequencies of the room. This is inevitably a process of re-recording many times onto a physical medium.

However, we can automate this process, and by doing so, can make a space open for interaction and the public can create sounds in conjunction with the sounds captured in the past. So, I created a program that:

1) At a specific time in the day (e.g., 12:00 PM although this is arbitrary) starts recording for x amount of time (so far about an hour) capturing the sound within a specific space. Then it stops recording. The room has multiple microphones and speakers to keep the depth and spatialization of sound within a space, so its less about the recording and more re-visualizing various perspectives within a space that temporally overlap.

2) The next day, the recording plays back at exactly 12:00 PM. Participants in the space will be re-recorded, and thus their sounds with the played back sounds will both be captured.

3) The day after that, the recording from the previous day will play back, etc. etc.

I’ve done a quick sketch of the program but it has a couple bugs / nice features aren’t there yet, so I’ll post the code for anyone who has Max/MSP to play with (if anyone knows Max, there’s potentially a couple things I’d like to bounce off your regarding sfplay~’s stability with multichannel recordings).



Ideally I would like a day to day, but I think it’s unrealistic to expect consistent turn outs of people. Furthermore, because the interaction is less direct, people may/may not know that they can interact with it. So there’s some sort of temporal framing to figure out. Too short of a frame feels just like a delay. Too long makes people unaware of the interaction. Perhaps some sort of sound making object in a room can help frame (i.e., a clock, but that might be too literal).

2) We’re suppose to think of outdoor stuff right. 


I wanna try this just with silence / room tone. I wonder what the 60 Hz cycle sounds like repeatedly re-amped. Probably just like howling…but still fun!