More sound sculptures

This week’s posting is arriving early because I will be away this coming Sunday.

More sound sculptures

Every so often, this blog presents connections to interesting soundscapes or sound installation projects. This week I look at “Thin Air”.

Thin Air is a project from Artmusic.  It is an interactive sound installation by Helen Ottaway.


As noted on the Thin Air web site:

Thin Air is inspired by the fragments which float in the spaces of the 15th century church of  St. John the Baptist Maddermarket in Norwich: names, carvings, memories and inscriptions, some long forgotten. Many people have left tangible traces – masons, wood carvers, painters, glass workers all creating the intricate sculptures and beautiful imagery which adorns the building. Also present are invisible traces, memories, fragments of a hymn tune, footsteps.”

“One of the aims in creating Thin Air is to encourage a personal and physical interface between people and the building. In this way the act of being and moving in a space becomes a dance; simple journeys become melodies; mass movement becomes a chorus – a public choreography. The working of the installation is based on principles of indeterminacy and coincidence. There is no set route, no prescribed behaviour is required of the participants – unlike a conventional concert. The listener’s movements and gestures trigger sound events in random and unrepeatable patterns. The visitor is invited to take a walk around the installation: each walk or combination of walks creates a unique piece of music – a re-creational dance.”

So, as you walk around the church you ‘set off’ sounds and music. I think if you were moving with another person (or several) you would ‘set off’ a chorus of voices.  Wonderful idea! And it is random and unrepeatable. Perfect!

Norwich_St_John, here to see and hear a sample of the installation.

Maybe we need to start organizing similar projects here.  (One that Toronto did a couple of years ago was interesting – taking old pianos and locating them all around the city. Artists painted the pianos and then they were left outside for people to play. I will take a look at this project in another posting. I hear they are doing a similar thing in Port Hope?)

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