2020 Nautilus iOS App

Nautilus was inspired by the creature of the same name, seen on a Marcus de Sautoy documentary The Code. The aim is to create a cocoon of sound by manipulating sounds from the external environment.

Available on the App store here.

The nautilus is a mollusc-type creature who lives in the dark in the ocean, and this piece intends to invoke a similar quiet and still space, but taking in sounds from the listener’s external environment (through the device’s microphone), and treating them sonically so that they seem distant and non-threatening. This piece is very sparse and spacious, and reminiscent of the theories espoused by Pauline Oliveros on “Deep listening”. External sounds are taken in and treated before being played back to the listener, distorting the relationship between “internal” and “external” sounds.

Nautilus changes the sounds around you into a soundscape that lets you escape your world and surround yourself in a blanket of sound. Coffee shops turn into an ocean of whooshes. Humming turns into a choir of monks. Occasional sounds turn into musical landscapes. Push the slider into the shell to move further into the Nautilus soundworld.

This piece requires headphones for enhanced cocooning, but also to prevent sounds from the speakers being drawn straight back into the microphone. Nautilus was built in Pure Data, using libpd to embed the patch into an iOS app. It has been built using libpd and the native core motion library in xCode.