Justin Bennett - Acoustic Gardens
  Year :   2001
  Location :   Netherlands
  Worktype :   -
  Materials:   -
  Info :   For the exhibition Breeze of Air / Hortus Conclusus in Witte de With, Rotterdam

  Work Details  
  Stichting Air commissioned me to design a soundscape for the exhibition Breeze of Air / Hortus Conclusus at Witte de With, Rotterdam. Each architectural plan for a garden at a specific location was accompanied by a sound garden created from sounds recorded at the location itself. Rather than illustrate the projects, I chose to interpret the commission by researching the acoustic properties of gardens and the possibility of creating a garden purely from sound. The Acoustic Garden. A garden forms a micro-environment with its own ecology, and thus its own soundscape - its own set of sounds and rhythms. These sounds and rhythms contrast with those of the acoustic world outside the garden. Garden sounds are usually quiet and acoustic. Garden rhythms are seemingly purposeless or incredibly slow, following a day/night rhythm. Gardens absorb and filter the sound from the surrounding city. Trees create reverberation, smoothing out sharp, abrupt sounds and intensifying the sense of distance to the city outside. Flowing water and wind blowing leaves create a soft curtain of noise, masking sound from outside. Lack of direct echoes in open spaces makes conversation private and intimate. Sound Gardens. A sound garden can be made from acoustic or electronic sound. It can use plants, water, air, birds and animals, or loudspeakers. A garden can be made by silencing sounds or by jamming electronic communications. A walkman can be a portable audio garden. The sound here is an excerpt from the sound garden for the Las Palmas project of Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa.