Sonic storm
Sound installation for 4DSOUND
2018
Supported by: 4DSOUND – Spatial Sound Institute and The Composer fund of The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service and STEF.
Technical support: Vladimir Razhev

Sonic storm is an immersive sound installation composed with the 4DSOUND system at the Spatial Sound Institute in Budapest in 2018. The piece explores a hurricane as an audio-physical metaphor.

During my Artist Residency at the Spatial Sound Institute in Budapest 2018 I worked on Sonic storm – a sound sculpture inspired by the movement within a hurricane. The revolving structure of the hurricane creates physical tension but in its centre drops into a calm silence: in the eye of the storm. Both delicate and alive, the piece studies the conversation between frequencies once they collide in space.

Sonic storm explores the potential of sonic architecture. My research for the piece focuses on how to generate the physical and audible sensation of construction of sound with dimensional depths; a sculpture that one can only sense by exploring space. As one moves from sound to sound, the listener passes through different rooms of alternating beatings and frequencies. Sounds become almost tactile, like another layer that weights on your skin. And while you explore the space, you may notice an increasing heaviness as you aim towards the light, until it suddenly drops. Dense vibrations sweep off your shoulders as you walk into silence.

Directly related to the fourth dimension of the 4DSOUND System, ‘Sonic Storm’ can only be perceived once we move through the space. Progression can be experienced with each one’s own tempo while scanning the multiple spaces within the room. At a certain point in space, these relationships create nodes of silence whilst in others they add together to generate high density vibrations that encourage us to listen with our whole body.

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By playing with standing waves and exploring their change in amplitude in relation to the space and their frequencies, I was able to combine standing waves located so that they would create a spot that is completely silent. This location is the metaphor for the eye of the hurricane. As a result of this, the frequencies had their own amplitude patterns in the space, creating a change in sounds and beatings so sensitive that one would experience a drastic change with a tiny movement. To emphasise the physical impact of the energy within a hurricane, as well as because of practical limitations, the frequencies used were all under 90Hz. This creates a very physical sensation of the sound and a dramatic change when one walks between the silence spot and the sound.

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Photos by Anita Banano for 4DSOUND and Jesus Canuto Iglesias