Audio: AW Triphase & Shepard Tone

by Beauchamp Art


AW Triphase & Shepard Tone

Soundtrack to the Andy Warhol Triphase films, alongside the Strange Loop/Shepard Tone variations. A post-Warholian Shepard Tone infused synthetic Structuralist soundscape.


Here the original track was multiplied 36 times, for each repetition of the rotating bust of Warhol, with the pitch ascending one each track staggered to coincide with the start of each video, and the volume raising and falling to fill one full repetition. However, the resulting sound was (once it was exported and was not overloading my sound card; not the speakers, but the internal mechanics of the computer) that of slightly shifting noise.



Thus, a second version was made using only the ‘melody’ from the main track, with only every third repetition used, resulting in a thinner, less complex sound which was actually decipherable; though still incredibly difficult to listen to, as the resulting dissonance was still abhorrent to the ears, though quite fascinating in its minimalistic complexity; the resulting sound like that of some sort of sci-fi torture device for melting the ears of prisoners.



The repetitions required on my behalf to create this sound piece, now somewhat severed from its visual origins, were in themselves very repetitive and invoked the frustration of this individual as a Post-Fordist worker from the Digital Factory of 2016; with the compartments of manufacture overlapping and overflowing into a chaos of structured forms folding over themselves to produce a sound-scape like that of a great machine perpetually revving and accelerating, with a sustained velocity but the constant sensation of rising jerk, straining the neck muscles as the head is buried ever further into the wall behind; features stretching as if being sucked into a Black Hole Event Horizon; the body constantly rising in temperature, boiling over and over, madness redoubling its efforts to unwork the order of mind with every new though feeding back on the first; with some Hel-ish Ouroboros strangulating and torturous.



The various versions of the piece were still difficult to export, and required multiple attempts for it to be rendered in full without any unwanted glitches or errors occurring. Though I suspect this is more due to limitations on the sound card and the program itself, rather than limitations of RAM or processing power.


Due to this imperfection, they cannot be used to create any further video works, though I had intended on combining them with the RGB AW video shifting through the hue spectrum gradually, though could not create a visual Shepard Tone without resorting to dividing the frame into 36 sections (or 12 if the thirds variations were used), which would effectively be reverting to the earlier RGB 24 film, sans the Warholian intervention. This would not necessarily be negative, but is nevertheless and erroneous avenue of exploration, as it may not be able to be undertaken on my computer at the time being.



Additionally, a drone-driven version of the Strange Loop was created, using a combination of averaging, reverb, chorus and filtering effects.