Sound Canal [2021]

13-channel sound installation

Commissioned by National Science and Media Museum for ‘Sonic Boom’

Sound Canal is a 13-channel sound environment, created for the National Science and Media Museum’s Sonic Boom exhibition. Covering the transition space between two galleries, its intention was to playfully bring visitors close to the experience of sound and playfully engage different registers of listening. The architectural component, designed by Field Studio, was acoustically dead and visually very simple, designed to support close and immediate listening, minimise visual distraction, and contrast the acoustic conditions in other gallery spaces. My composition consisted of varying sequences and combinations of recorded vocal and instrumental improvised sound sequences, that enter dynamically, travelling playfully and sequentially along trajectories of loudspeakers. Diverse sonic textures and gestures, from grains to running footsteps were presented at their relative amplitudes, so as to engage a multitude of listening registers: ultra-soft trajectories of sound might engage close listening or be masked by existing ambiences in the space, whilst human gestures heard at a regular dynamic created the impression of playful presence within the space. These sonic trajectories were contrasted by multichannel environmental ambiences that acted to saturate the space and transport the listener.

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