In Pea Soup a self-stabilizing phase shift network nudges the pitch of audio feedback to a different resonant frequency every time the feedback starts to build. The familiar shriek is replaced with unstable patterns of hollow tones, a site-specific raga reflecting the acoustical personality of the room. These architectural melodies can be influenced by movement in the space, other sounds, or even by a draft of cold air. This essay covers the history of the work, from its earliest iteration in hardware when the author was a student in the 1970s through its software reconstruction in the early 2000s, as well as its influence on the author’s subsequent musical projects.
Improvising with Architecture: Pea Soup and Related Work with Audio Feedback
Composer Nicolas Collins is a professor in the Department of Sound at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a research fellow at the Orpheus Institute (Ghent). Former editor-in-chief of Leonardo Music Journal, he is also the author of Handmade Electronic Music: The Art of Hardware Hacking (Routledge).
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Nicolas Collins; Improvising with Architecture: Pea Soup and Related Work with Audio Feedback. Resonance 1 June 2021; 2 (2): 168–181. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/res.2021.2.2.168
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