Monday, 27 August 2007

aa - week 5 - sound art

music for sleeping | soundinstallation - chris amey

"We had it set up in a room at a festival," Amey explains enthusiastically. "At night it was lit only by a few candles, and otherwise it was pitch black. There were beds on the floor and they would all have people on them. They'd either be asleep or very quiet, not talking or only whispering very softly." [1]

this was an installation of 8 speakers surrounding 7 beds. Playing throught the speakers was a 30 minute repeated loop of a series of simple sine waves, these were based on the overtone series with a bit of variation for beat frequencies (60 - 121 - 182 - 243 - 304 - 365 - 426 - 487 - 548 - 609).
"Finally each of the twenty tones is designated independently to one of the eight speakers in the room so that each speaker is catering for either two or three tones at all times." [2]

This was a piece designed for relaxation, the beds and simple sine waves created a quiet space where people would quietly experience the sounds. In the examples I found it was presented as an installation, but it's apparent short duration (30 minutes, but that could be have been variable depending on the particular installation) also leans it towards being a piece as such.

In this example the distance between an installation and a composition is quite small. Compared to the work of Felix Hess and his atmosphere interactive devices, it comes across as an almost DJ experience: you come in, music gets played, you listen.
Nonetheless a piece of sound design, working with a created environment and a specific playback system.

"Chris Amey runs London-based sound-arts collective Limited Noise." [1]
"limitedNOISE is Britain's first sound art collective... limitedNOISE seeks to search out the reality of the British sound art scene through opening communication with fellow sound artists and whoever else has a view on the subject." [3]

For a brief sound excerpt

[1] Poole, Steven. 17 Nov 2001. Prick up your ears.,,596122,00.html
(25 August 2007)

[2] Middlesex University Gallery. 2001.
(25 August 2007)

[3] (25 August 2007)

other sources;
Ostberg, Anders.
(25 August 2007)

pp 59 - 61. Hess, Felix. 2003, Light as air, Bilingual edn, Kehrer Verlag.

Haines, Christian. Audio Arts week 05 lecture. University of Adelaide, 21 August 2007.

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