“Background Noise” was a project developed in 1996 and presented to the Bolsa Ernesto de Sousa. It was awarded with a honorable mention.

“The concept: “Background Noise” is a project for a multimedia performance with the main idea of reinterpreting what we are used to call “background noise”. This “Background Noise” is a visual and sound constant, and although absent from our conscience, still has an important role on our perception of things. The interest of this project will be connected to the capability of recreating and observing an assemble of images and sounds and treat them as a way for them to acquire new shapes inside a new context. Turning to micro photography (see project “Picture Research), and the recording of sound with microphones of high sensibility, I’ll try to project to a superior layer this assemble of images and sounds. The result will be close to an abstract landscape full of textures and sounds.

The performance: The “Background Noise” performance is about the projection of a video and it’s interpretation in real time trough the electric guitar with effects and tapes, together with a synchronized soundtrack. The tapes are triggered manually according to the interpretation of the rest of the performance. The performance is also characterized by the position of the projection screen (see included scheme). This way we get the feeling, that what happens behind the screen is actually the “background noise”. The video image is interpreted in the stage through a video monitor.

The technology: ” Background noise” sound will be recorded digitally using high quality microphones and portable D.A.T. decks. The sound will be mixed and edit, using audio software line “Digidesign Protools”. The video will be recorded with Hi8 or DV Video cameras and digitalized for editing and mixing in software line “Adobe Premier” and “Adobe after effects”. The still pictures (which will be after animated) will be done using a Nikon F90X camera and a Nikon micro 60mm views, the still pictures will be then digitalized using a dedicated scanner and edit an software line “Adobe Photoshop”.

The project is divided in four different steps:1st step, gathering of audio and video footage as well as photographs in New York, for later editing and mixing of the gathered elements for use in the development of the performance. 2nd step Performance presentation in New York. 3rd step, after the performance presentation in New York and already in Portugal, a CD-ROM/ CD production will start using sound and images from the performance video. The “Background noise” CD-ROM /CD will be released in a cardboard box and will be printed (silk screened). It will also include a small info booklet that will talk mainly about the “Background noise” performance, the B.E.S. and the author. The CD-ROM /CD will be distributed by the independent record company “Garagem”. 4th step, performance and “Background noise” CD-ROM /CD presentation.”

B&W pictures of London’s Piccadilly Circus by Cesário Alves.