Max Bowen (Luebbers) (He/Him)
Max is a sound designer and developer working with audio-reactive and interactive visual systems.
Game Instrument, Unity, FMOD
This project explores the musical possibility of games beyond experiencing soundscapes, or imitating musical performance. The role of the designer and game system as both obstacles and motivators, opens up co-creative possibilities through the play of video games.
It presents the game as an inherently resistive interactive system which refutes the ideal of the frictionless interface. The game can act as musical Instrument and score through which the human performer, game system, and developer enter into creative and emergent a/synchronous dialogue. Games as instruments of play define their own economy and ecology through which certain sounds, and gestures are afforded.
It identifies strategies for further investigation through the design and development of a sound-based game.
Saddle-stitched booklet of 4 trace monotype prints, Etching on 3 anti-skate vinyl blanks, Sleeve
The score dictates the structure of performance. Rules which define the realization of the sound become frameworks of expression. In traditional engraving, emphasis is placed on the readability and replication. Given careful design for ease of reading and the understandable restrictions of written instructions for musicality, seams begin to open through which the performer can emerge, establishing themselves as either collaborator or antagonist.
Discovering less traditional methods of scoring, we began to see these seams become pockets, but still the score remains— physically and sonically. If the score shifted from framework to tool, we’d begin to see something more like an instrument. The flute or drum presents its own rules of interaction while allowing the user to stretch the limits of the pocket with altered techniques.
Vinyl lives on as the most accessible and portable physical storage media. It can be written to by the user with simple tools It’s also radial, meaning beats and loops can be easily created. Digital and magnetic storage media allow for relatively easy and accurate replication but by engraving by hand, time and craft are reintroduced to recorded media. The luthier can experiment and tweak the sound and playability with each instrument they create. They create an archeology of their instruments.