Max/MSP Patch, annotated book, amplified plush owl
Arty Party, 2019

Howl/Owl/Follow is a sound installation that uses a recording of various species of North American Owls to alter a clip of Allen Ginsberg reading his poem Howl

The audio was processed in a custom program built in Max/MSP to create an effect called Envelope Following. In this instance, the envelope (or, how the amplitude of a sound changes over time) of the owl calls is used to adjust a filter on the Howl recording.

Both recordings are played simultaneously and through the envelope following effect, the clarity and emphasis of Howl rises and falls with the owl calls.

Listeners are invited to don a pair of headphones coming out of a plush owl and follow along with the poem. In the provided copy of Howl, the various species of Owls are noted in the margin as they occur alongside the text.

*** This piece was inspired by, as well as dedicated to, my favourite birder Hanna Negami on the occasion of her 30th birthday.

Full Audio Capture:

Download the Howl/Owl/Follow Max Patch:

Howl/Owl/Follow Max/MSP patch