The sonic impact of radio on the Americana landscape is profound. Fireside chats, Radio theatre, Payola, DJs, drive-ins, elevator Musak, waiting room noise––the vast consumerism and reach of radio continues to this day. Yet, what happens when we smash two artists (Kenny G and Nickelback) together into one spectral stretched fantasy using the transmission medium that gave life to their careers? Are we doomed to phase out our history with background noise? Or are we undulating with the beat of cultural reclamation and signification? Sending us adrift inside the electrical coils of the radio, Lying in Fireflies Besides Brown Curls and other original compositions attempt to recount a personal connection to memory, lust, and the power of radio to receive a new transmission.
Relay of Memory was exhibited at the Edith Langley Barrett Art Gallery, Utica, NY. The exhibition was supported by funds from the Oregon Arts Commission.
Chromatic Shift is an audio plugin (AU and VST3) that uses three interpolating delays to pitch shift audio.
The range of the plugin is two octaves below and two octaves above the original audio.
A window delay (5ms to 50ms set outside playback) changes audio quality at more extreme settings. Default is 20ms.
Chromatic Shift was built using the JUCE Framework (C++).
Wildfire is a 48-foot long speaker array that plays back a wave of fire sounds across its 48-foot span at speeds of actual wildfires. The sound art installation strives to have viewers embody the devastating spread of wildfires through an auditory experience.
The work was installed at the Edith Langley Barrett Art Gallery in Utica, New York. The work ran Sept. 19 – Dec. 8, 2019 as part of a solo art exhibition entitled, “Impact! works by Jon Bellona.” Wildfire was part of SPRING/BREAK Art Show in NYC March 3 – 9, 2020 curated by Megan C. Austin and Ashlie Flood.
Wildfire was made possible through the University of Oregon Center for Environmental Futures and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation. The Impact! exhibition was supported by funds from the Oregon Arts Commission. Additional support made possible from the Edith Langley Barrett Art Gallery.
The exhibition is organized by the Barrett Art Gallery at Utica College. The exhibition is supported by funds from the Oregon Arts Commission. The Edith Langley Barrett Art Gallery programs are made possible with support from the Utica College School of Arts and Sciences and private contributions.
Media File Reported to Oregon Arts Commission (2019)
Awash depicts the life, color, and environment of the High Desert. The kinetic sound sculpture emanates audio from the region, while flowing as a singular mechanical wave overhead. Awash, like the High Desert, is shaped by many forces interacting in complex ways; the work is ecological – physical movement interacts with sonic vibrations. Sounds interact with the physical environment. Visual elements intermingle with acoustic elements.
The High Desert Museum commissioned Harmonic Laboratory for the work as part of its Desert Reflections 2019 exhibit. The exhibit went on to win the 2019 Charles Redd Center for Western Studies Award for Exhibition Excellence. Press release for the award.
Jon Bellona, electronics, software, field recording, Skinner church organ recording, sound editing, visual design, engineering
John Park, kinetics, visual design, engineering, schematics
Jeremy Schropp, field recording, visual design, engineering
Kevin Davis, Skinner church organ recording
City Synth transforms the city of Eugene into a musical instrument. By transmitting video feeds from multiple locations to a central location downtown that interprets movement and color into sound, the cityscape becomes a soundscape. The project offers the community a playful way to learn about and interact with the gigabit network in downtown Eugene. The project was a month long installation housed in downtown Eugene, OR. Project partners include South Eugene Robotics Team (SERT) and XS Media. The project was funded by a Mozilla Gigabit Community Fund Grant.
Artists involved in the project:
Jon Bellona, sound design, coding, project lead
John Park, coding and visual design
Jeremy Schropp, interface design and construction
Dimension Chorus is a VST plugin modeled after the Roland Dimension D® chorus. The effect includes a shared LFO (with phase flipped on opposite channel). The dimension knob controls a mix of inverted, high-pass filtered signal, which is sent to its opposite channel further spreading the stereo source.
For Mac OS, go (Cmd-G) to ~/Library/Audio/Plug-ins to see your “Component” folder (for AU plugins) or “VST” folder (for VST plugins). Move the plugin file to the appropriate folder. You may also go to /Libary/Audio/Plug-ins too. Either place can be used to install plugins. Most DAWs will scan and recognize both locations.
If you dig the free software, please follow my music.
Beat Repeater is a VST and AU stereo audio plugin that manipulates the wet, dry, and feedback gains of a simple delay line. When on, the plugin cuts off the input to the delay, cuts the dry output signal, and increases the feedback to 100%; in short, the sound “stutters” or repeats the beat according to a BPM setting selected by the user. An additional automate button lets the plugin randomly select beat divisions for a further glitchy breakdown of the sound. User parameters control left and right channels separately. Beat Repeater was built using the JUCE Framework (C++).
Precipitation 3 is one of a series of musical compositions written for 26 clock chimes as part of the sound art installation, Aqua•litative. With my Precipitation series, I treat the electromechanical structure as musical instrument, navigating through sound with the syntactical construction of code. Compositions played by the sculpture evoke precipitation data of California weather stations by cycling through bits of its data. These cycles create emergent sonic patterns in a continuously evolving play between density and rhythm. Movement flows as collapsing waves, additively striking a cybernetic balance between natural order and mechanic motion.
Aqua•litative is a kinetic installation that renders multiple data sets of California’s water history into a physical experience. The work correlates natural factors contributing to California’s water shortages, outlining the serpentine narrative of water through the translation of data into kinetic movement and acoustic sound.
Selector is a live audio-visual performance that uses algorithms to select between various sonic processes. Some of these processes include the selection of audio segments, rapidly skipping like a malfunctioning CD player. Each audio process triggers pulses of projected light. Selector combines the generative selection of audio with the selection of visual code in a tightly synchronized display of sound and light.