Project 6: Sonic Portrait of A Space


The Space That Inspired The Project

For my project, I designed a kitchen in which a small, makeshift surprise party is about to take place. The attendees struggle to be quiet amongst each other and make sure everything is prepared, and the guest should have been there by now.

Working Process

First, I recorded some basic sounds like doors opening and closing to go in the background, as well as a long take of normal sounds in my room for ambience. I then interviewed a close friend who is a writer about what sounds he would expect to hear in such a space, one of which being the “four loko falling on the floor” heard in the beginning. I recorded some sounds to emulate those he said, and then got a couple of my closest friends together to throw a fake surprise party for the recording, with promises of an actual cake. I sampled some sounds from the interview recordings and initial ambient ones for recurring motifs, and then began to layer them in the same order mentioned above, going back to tweak and edit.

I decided to construct it a bit like a scene: starting with a door opening, and ending with another door opening and then the surprise. I amplified some sounds and de-amplified many to create an air of a forced quiet that isn’t being maintained in a way that’s entirely successful.

Compositional Strategy/Objective

As mentioned before, I wanted to construct a narrative-like form while still maintaining the ambience and spatial depth of a more abstract auditory piece. Therefore, I used repeated and isolated sounds over ambient ones to convey the scene.


Having had very bad experiences working with audio in the past, my expectations for this project were on the floor, but I believe it ended up coming together with relative cohesion.

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