Vibrational Fields

A site-specific soundscape installation (2011-2012)

Considering our environment (space, things, and living beings) as vibrant matter (Bennett 2011), I inquired on the experience of sound waves into an experience of sonic space as vibration. From within sound materiality into space’s acoustics, I explored the idea of a resonant soundscape. The methodology embraced a process of field recordings of the site, an acoustic analysis of the space for performance, a sonic composition, a site-specific spatialisation and a public performance as an event or installation.

After exploring the site with field recordings, I undertook an accurate study and measurement of the acoustic space for the installation, analyzing its geometry and material properties, in order to find the space’s resonance frequencies. With this study, I explored modes to enquire the creative potential of frequencies and acoustics to build up a space for the experience of vibration. In the soundscape composition process, I integrated the field recordings to a multi-layered set of recorded sounds of digital and analogue synthesizers in order to reach specific frequencies, rhythms and acoustic effects, and to attune resonating cyclic fields between body and space. Drones and tones emerged from the amplification, transduction and recomposition of the site’s vibrations. This process allowed me to explore further relationships between frequencies, biorhythms, vibrations’ patterns and acoustics. The soundscape was then performed as a sound installation, spatialized in a site-specific relation to its acoustic space. The audience was invited to leave a feedback on the experience.

The soundscape was experimented and shared in different public spaces, in academic and cultural events: Media and the Senses, conference, Goldsmiths, University of London (2011); Rhythm Materiality, symposium, London Consortium (2011); Embodying Topology, performance, Tate Modern, London (2011); Sound-Space-Signal, performance, Guimarães European Capital of Culture, Portugal (2012). These were engaged as opportunities to test the same purpose and methodology in different sites and contexts, integrating in each case study the acoustic specificity of each place.
As this soundscape experiment deals with sound waves of particular size, articulated in a particular dimension, it is not reproducible through audio documentation because the acoustic effects are gone. These effects could only be heard and felt in each specific site of the installation. Nevertheless, you may hear one of the soundscape experiences here: