320 pages
7.5in. x 11.5in.

88.0–108.0MHz charts the evolution of pirate radio in the western world. The book explores local histories of pirate radio from offshore broadcasting in the Thames Estuary during the 60’s through London’s rave period in the 90’s to Denmark’s transition to
web radio in the 2000’s. Amid historical accounts of pirate radio history are philosophical texts on radio and its cultural implications as a powerful tool for communication.

related project: SPECTRAL

identity system

Sónar is one of the largest electronic music events in the world which takes place annually in Barcelona.

My goal for sónar’s rebrand was to create a cohesive context for the performing artists while maintaining the integrity of their own aesthetics. While unifying the event’s many assets with a systematic visual vocabulary, a distinctive identity emerged from the aesthetics of pragmatism and computer logic.

related projects: s+, polyband

The aesthetic vernacular of early electronic music was a key inspiration in sónar’s rebrand. The colors and utilitarian designs of vintage drum machines, synthesizers and oscilloscopes were interpreted through a high-res, contemporary lens to form the building blocks of this identity.

The expansiveness of the festival’s programming is reflected in the grid which pervades the festival’s identity: a grid of limitless resolution and opportunity. The identity’s greens and greys are adopted from vintage audio equipment: the foundational tools of electronic music.

generative, spatial

Polyband is a graphical audio spectrum analyzer designed for various applications in within sónar’s identity system. The display dynamically generates visuals from any incoming audio be it from a musical performance or from ambient crowd noise in the festival’s corridors.

The visualization’s fidelity, proportion and speed can be adjusted for display at any scale.

related projects: sónar, s+

Polyband is built with Processing’s Sound library and relies on the FFT function to capture and translate frequency-volume information in real-time. The value for each frequency band is stored in an array which dictates the color density and numerical value of a corresponding graphical band to represent its relative volume.

These Frequency bands are represented vertically and time is represented horizontally. The visualization can be rendered with smaller time units for finer graphical detail or larger units to capture a more generalized representation of sound.

s+ identity system

S+ is a three day long lecture series which runs parallel to sónar’s annual festival. Participants
include both musical performers at sónar as well as non-musical pioneers in the myriad fields of
creative technology.

related projects: sónar, polyband

The identity shares the grid-based DNA of sónar, but distinguishes itself with a contrasting form language and monochromatic color palette.

spatial, generative

The SPECTRAL installation transforms a room into a spatial radio dial.

The installation acts as an immersive entry-point into the
history of pirate radio which is extensively detailed in 88.0–108.0MHz. Visitors engage with reactive sound and image.

related project: 88.0–108.0MHz

The visitor scrubs through three pirate radio broadcasts and related visuals by moving between three corresponding speakers. Each of the three broadcasts is assigned to an individual speaker which adjusts its volume as it’s approached

The installation is operated by a single Processing file which utilizes the JavaFX, The MidiBus, Syphon and video libraries in tandem with Ableton Live and TSPS.

TSPS takes position data from a Kinect sensor and translates it for
use with Processing. This data is used to scan through the projected visuals and adjust the volumes of three audio channels in Ableton.
These three channels are sent through an audio interface to the corresponding speakers.

© 2023, Ruben Griggs