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"Perimeter Walcheturm"

Technique: piano wire, speakers, piezo microphones, amplifiers

Kunstraum Walcheturm in cooperation with
the Zürich Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology
as part of the group exhibition "Milieux Sonores"
Zürich, Switzerland
http://icst.net
http://walcheturm.ch

January 16–February 21, 2009


This installation takes its title from the form the work eventually took with speakers installed around the perimeter of the Kunstraum Walcheturm in Zürich.

I wanted to create a reference to the space outside the Walcheturm by re-projecting its own sound environment back in on itself through a system of piezo microphones, steel wires and speakers suspended from the fašade of the building.

I attached a piezo microphone to a length of steel wire spanning the faces of the front and side of the building. The steel wire picked up vibrations in the environment from wind, rain, people walking by, the occasional loud sounds from traffic. The piezo microphone, attached to the wire, routed these vibrations to a stereo amplifier which in turn sent the signal back to the speakers hanging from the building.

The result was a self-generating system of the sound environment circling back in on itself. It was difficult in the beginning to find just the right level of amplification in order to avoid feedback but also to have enough amplification to make the projected sounds audible just beyond the perimiter of the building.

My idea was to create a kind of sonic shadow thrown back on the building and a field of sound only audible to people walking by the Walcheturm. At certain times of the day the installation was clearly audible; at others it became subsumed in the louder ambient sound levels of the city. The piece ran for one month, every day from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m.

 

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