Modes of Resonance

Modes of Resonance is the first installation that I created for my PhD project. It was installed in the Clothworkers Centenary Concert hall for the sound;space;play symposium at the University of Leeds in May 2015.

The installation explores resonant modes across the human range of hearing as a pallete of audio-spatial sensations which indefinitely collide with each other in different combinations.

The installation plays sine waves into the space at its resonant frequencies through two Genelec 1038B Monitors and two Genelec 7071A Studio Subwoofers. The sine wave frequencies are generated from four impulse responses –each corresponding to an individual loudspeaker and microphone-position combination.

Each loudspeaker cycles through these resonant sinewaves at a slightly different speed, allowing them, over time, to manifest in all harmonic combinations. These constantly morphing combinations of wavelengths manifest as a slowly shifting spatio-sonic topology, where nodes and antinodes positions, and sonic affect is wholly contingent on a listener’s position in space. The installation is completed by movement; a listener’s position in a space defines their experience of loudness and pitch.

The affect of the frequencies on the body exists on a spectrum where the high frequencies are ‘heard’ and the lower frequencies ‘felt’. The fundamental and its first few partials (in this case roughly 56hz and above) have a somatic effect, being felt throughout the body, perhaps most in the chest, whereas standing wave at higher frequencies are aurally experienced.