Affect Formations

in art and music


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Which music makes you angry? + HD movie release of Durham Talk 'Affect Formations in Art and Sound'

December 22nd at 3:10pm

by Adinda van 't Klooster

Work on the second interface for the live performances in 2015 has been progressing. We (myself and Nick Collins) have now captured our biosignals listening to particular pieces of music that induce us into one of the eight target states. We both chose different pieces of music, as it tends to be very personal in terms of which music works to induce the particular emotions. We needed two minutes of music per state, one minute to allow the person to start feeling the emotion and another to capture the biodata. If the extract wasn’t long enough it was looped. I chose the following extracts of music for the following emotions:

Happy: Fuga 3 from the Well-tempered Clavier by J.S. Bach

Angry: Untitled (7_53) by Merzbow (from the album Oersted)

Sad: Fratres For 8 Cellos by Arvo Part (by the Hungarian State Orchestra conducted by Tamás Benedek)

Excited: Extract from the soundtrack for ‘Batman Returns’ by Danny Elfman

Scared: ‘Dear Clarence’ by Hans Zimmer, from the soundtrack for ‘Hannibal’

Annoyed: Hyperprisme, for winds and percussion, Varese: The Complete Works, ASKO ensemble directed by Riccardo Chaily

Calm: Metamorphosis 4 by Phillip Glass (from the album the Essential Phillip Glass)

Tender: Book of Ways 12, Keith Jarrett (from the album Rarum 1)

The hardest one to find was music that made me angry. Although there is a lot of music that makes me annoyed, it is much harder to get me angry; when I have control over the volume button that is… Scared was also a difficult one. It is easy to know when you are supposed to feel scared but without visuals and only music it can be quite hard to be induced into real fear. The data of the biosignals is now used to create a classifier. More on this in the New Year.

In the meantime, 24 people have done the online survey. Thanks very much to those who took the time! But we still need more people to do it so please channel your generous Christmas spirit into donating ten minutes of your time to take the survey. Just click the participate button at the top right of this screen and you will be guided through. Only surveys that are fully completed will be used and all data remains anonymous.

Let me finish with my Christmas gift to you all: The HD edited version of the talk I gave at Durham University on the 11th of November 2014. The talk was about my previous artworks that have been inspired by music in different ways and the work I am currently developing at Durham University with staff of the music department. With many thanks to the excellent editing of Simone Tarsitani,, and the great camera work of Martin Clayton,, Laura Leante, and Tat Amaro. Just click the expand screen button if you would like to watch the movie at full size.

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