Friday, 11 February 2011

Stairwell Phase Composition

I have been working in Lanternhouse today on a new test piece to improve my understanding of the relationship between the environment in which you place a sound installation and the way the audience perceives the work.

I created 4 loops of rhythms made from binaural recordings of the handrails on the stairwell, making them different lengths and tempos to construct a simple phase composition.

Having loops of different lengths and tempo means that they shift out of phase with each other creating an organically changing shifting pattern which evolves over time.

I installed them in 4 Lanternhouse sound boxes and put them at different points along the stairwell.

The listener can reposition themselves on different steps to change the sound mix they hear to create their own mix of the music. Setting a composition made from sounds of that particular environment also means the audience can interact with the installation by playing along with the composition through playing the handrails.

I'm really looking forward to developing this idea further next week. Here's a short recording with a fixed position recorder to give a flavour of what I got from today.

Lanternhouse Soundboxes

As a point of interest if anyone was wanting to know what makes up a soundbox here's a photo. They are a small black box with a cheap mp3 player and 2 self powered speakers inside.

I developed them for Lanternhouse with Fern Oxley with help from Bob at Lanternhouse for a youth sound art project we ran in summer of 2010 called
Sonic Landscapes - we wanted to make a cheap 8 channel diffusion system that could be used in a park without a power supply and this is what we came up with. Each box cost about £30 and are usable outside, for indoor work 1 speaker was more than enough to fill a decent sized room.

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