2020 | Procedural Sounds | MaxMsp | Monochrome Photography

People who are suffering from sleep paralysis may experience whispering sounds, illusion, and OOBE, which disassociate the body from the mind and mostly cause fear. Although most experiences might be terrifying and the illusion is nonsense, it is a sign of people's consciousness state, just like a bad dream might reveal the stress that we tend to ignore every day.

The glitchy connection of body and mind inspired me to find a more similar case in our daily life and to perceive things as a unity but not singular. For example, can we imagine the sounds from still images? Can we see the colors of music? To answer this question, I took a series of unsettling monochrome photography based on my own sleep paralysis experience and imported the photographs into Max map to generate procedural sounds which is similar to what people have been hearing when having sleep paralysis.

Procedural sounds from photographs

Incharged, discharged, overcharged. I use Mas msp to analyze the matrix data from photographs and generate procedural creepy sounds.

Surprisingly, 82% of my friends suffer from sleep paralysis and most of them describe being held back in a dark cave or a cocoon, and it will take a very long time to get out (wake up). Despite being trapped, they can still vividly sense sounds, colors, and visuals and remember every detail of the experience. What surprises me is that I've never had sleep paralysis, nor should I say that I didn't even know I was having this experience until I started interviewing people. Rather than feeling trapped, I am always flying through a dark tunnel without the body, which is actually a delightful experience. How can I turn something awful into a healing journey?

After generating that creepy sounds from photography, I turn to build a patch that can navigate people through the crystalized tunnel and interact with the sounds. In this patch, I build 7 presets that can load different sections of a song and generate various colors. Eventually, the audience will fly out of the dark tunnel and see the light.