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Sonic Marshmallows: whisper to me

These Sonic Marshmallows, created by Troika, use sonic reflection and enable you to listen to the other side of the pond. They can transmit and receive a whispering voice over 60 meters without any amplification, using only their shape.

Apart from providing a quite spectacular experience, the Sonic Marshmallows are fun to look at as well. It seems like some giant aliens dropped their candy in the Wat Tyler Country Park in Basildon Essex.

Troika is a multi-disciplinary art and design practice founded in 2003 by Conny Freyer, Eva Rucki and Sebastien Noel, who met while studying at the Royal College of Art in London.


Bridge Music by Joseph Bertolozzi

We've already taken a look at the Singing Bizovik bridge and the abstract soundscape created from it, but Jodi Rose isn't the only one capturing the sound of bridges. Composer Joseph Bertolozzi recorded the sounds of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Bridge and used them to compose his music with for this site-specific sound installation. Bertolozzi used various mallets made of different materials to strike the metal surfaces of the bridge.

There are two listening stations on the bridge itself, and there's a 24/7 transmission on 95.3FM within the parks surrounding the bridge. 


Go on a sonic journey with SoundTransit

I like to share my own recordings of the places I traveled to in the 'Places' category. I've been thinking of creating a system to collaboratively share these 'sonic pictures' from all over the world. It would be very inspiring to be able to listen to any part of the world.

But it seems I'm too late! SoundTransit, a project created by Derek Holzer, Sara Kolster and Marc Boon, does exactly that. You can search for sounds by keyword, country, city. You can also book a transit: choose your point of departure, a destination and an amount of stopovers, and your journey will be ready in a moment. I just went from Marrakech to Antwerp via Vienna. It basically just crossfades the files, but it's a nice idea.

Click to read more ...


Passage: a dynamic sound corridor

The idea of creating a ‘sound corridor’ is not new, I’ve heard about similar projects before, a buildings hallway seem like a suitable place for a sound installation. Things change all the time, people move up and down the corridor, creating an ever changing pattern for an artist to capture and use to generate or influence sounds.

You need a good technical system to capture these movements though, and that’s exactly what IRCAM created and and what Pierre Jodlowski uses for his dynamic sound corridor ‘Passage’. 16 sensors detect visitors movements. The information is sent to Max/MSP so the composer can use it to control his music.

You can experience this sound installation yourself at the Agora event in Paris: Monday, June 8 and Saturday, June 13, 1pm-6pm.


Put your sounds in the clouds with SoundCloud

As you might have noticed I use the SoundCloud player on my website. For website owners it’s a nice way of offering streaming audio without having to worry about hosting and the use of bandwith. I’d like to share my experiences with this review.

What's SoundCloud?

As a artist it’s great to have a professional looking way of sharing music with fans, label owners and venues. You can create a set of tracks on SoundCloud to embed it on your MySpace page, a much better sounding solution than the standard MySpace player.

Click to read more ...


This is what sound looks like

Sound is made audible air vibrating air molecules. Sound is a form of energy, we can’t see it, and we can only hear it when the volume is high enough and if it exists between 20Hz and 20kHz, the audible range of the human ear.

Sound also moves through liquids though, and Eva Schindling created a computer model which simulates the collision of two sounds in a fluid environment. The resulting form is then modeled out of Styrofoam. Now we have a sound we can touch, but we can’t hear it!


Voxstrumental at Futur en Seine festival 

The Futur en Seine festival takes place in Paris this week. The festival shows interesting new technological experiments and futuristic products. Voxstrumental is a sound installation shown by Voxler, a development team focused on vocal interaction, mainly for the gaming industry.

There are four pipes connected to the Voxstrumental sound installation. Singing into one of the pipes triggers a musical sequence. The pitch of the music changes with the pitch of your voice. The microphones are able to capture multiple parameters of expression. Four people can play the sound installation at the same time, you'll have to listen to each other to make it sound good together. And if you do, the robot in the middle starts dancing happily!

Watch a short movie about this sound installation on the Futur en Seine blog.


Listen to the streets of Mexico City

We are looking down at the intersection of Av. Juan Escutia and Calle Zamora in Condesa, Mexico City, from a window on the third floor. Normally I'm not that interested in the sound of cars driving by. But this urban soundscape is so remarkably different than the western European one I'm used to!

We hear lots of trucks, big ones, with loud diesel engines, fuelling the air with smog. We hear the typical sound of the green and white Volkswagen Beetles which form the majority of the taxis in Mexico City. And then we hear a melody. A man is selling some sort of corn product down on the street. The melody stops and the man starts to recommend his goods using a megaphone, followed by the same melody. I guess it's lunch time!

Click to read more ...


The whole building is your instrument

It’s so inspiring to see people who don’t like to keep things moderate. Why not transform a whole building into an instrument? That’s what David Byrne did with his sound installation ‘Playing the Building’. Three types of sound inducing methods are used in the sound installation - wind, vibration and striking.

The devices attached to the building structure don’t make any sound themselves, they cause the building itself to generate the sounds.The installation is controlled from a conventional musical interface: the keyboard of an old organ. It seems like quite an experience to be able to influence the sound in a huge building using just one finger!

You can see Playing the Building this summer at the Roundhouse, London, 8 - 31 August 2009.


Hello World! by Christopher Baker 

Hello World is an audio and video installation with the subtitle 'How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise'. Christopher Baker shows us an immense amount of personal video diaries played back at the same time, creating a cacophony of voices, sharing their secrets with an imagined massive audience.

The installation is "a meditation on the contemporary plight of democratic, participative media and the fundamental human desire to be heard". There is no way we can listen to every single person. I love the way the multi-channel sound composition sometimes focuses on individual speakers and sometimes plays everything at the same time, creating an immersive swarm of voices around the visitor.
Via Joachim Baan