David Cunningham - Interior
  Year :   2004
  Location :   Japan
  Worktype :   Installation
  Materials:   -
  Info :   Kanazawa





 
Soundscape
  Work Details  
  In this space are two microphones and four loudspeakers. Otherwise the space is empty. The sound of the space is magnified, amplified in real time. This work responds acoustically not only to the proportions and dimensions of the space but also to the physical presence of its audience, integrating the object of the work with its subject. This self referentiality is central to the installation - sound isnt used to illustrate an idea, it is the idea in itself. The work isolates and makes audible the movement of air within a given space, something invisible and so quiet we are normally oblivious to it. The English writer Andrew Wilson has written: There is no metaphorical dimension, Cunninghams work is a presentation of fact. He relies on isolating sonic or other sensory elements from the conditions of their sources and through subtle framing makes us aware of that which would otherwise be disregarded. This hum that surrounds our lives, by being isolated, is also magnified and the dynamism and effect of everyday actions made clear. (1) This space contains two systems of microphone, noise gate, amplifier and speakers. As with The Listening Room and other installations documented on this website, each system is arranged in such a way that when the microphone and loudspeaker begin to feed back the amplitude of the sound causes the noise gate to cut off the signal. The feedback notes resonate through the space accentuated by the reverberation time of the space. As the sound falls below the threshold of the noise gate the system switches back on and the process continues. The double system consists of two systems, electronically separate within the same acoustic space. The electronic part of the chain is independent but the acoustic part of the chain is interdependent - the two systems hear and react to each other in ways that are not entirely predictable. The system will assimilate and adapt to any sound made in the space, including sound which leaks in from elsewhere in the building. Non-Intentionality The music or sound of the various installations documented on this website has a structure based on physical principles, the inherent resonances of the space. It is what the composer Alvin Lucier has described as non-intentionality, rather than chance or indeterminacy. Lucier makes a comparison with a flock of birds in flight or a school of dolphins, the innate systems of balance of the ecological or physical world. This way of working allows a process to take its natural course, not to force something on to or out of the work - thereby allowing the content and the process to be the same thing. birds in flight A soundscape involving natural complexity is something our ears are instinctively very comfortable with - (we probably unconsciously or instinctively) recognise the structure. An comparison of how this could work is the act of looking at a tree - you dont look at every branch and leaf individually but they re all there if you want to look closer, you can enjoy a very different sense of ordering (in comparison to a man-made artefact) just by recognising the generality of tree and the variations of the generality and the specific. The idea of trying to work with natural complexity in a musical situation interested and frustrated me for a long time until I realised that I d been working with it for a long time. In sound, natural complexity is acoustic reflection, resonance, air moving in space and the generation of harmonics.