David Cunningham - Listening to the Architecture
  Year :   2003
  Location :   England
  Worktype :   Installation
  Materials:   -
  Info :   for the launch event of BBC2s Restoration project.. Clerkenwell Magistrates Court, London

  Work Details  
  This is an amplified acoustic situation, a triple system variant of The Listening Room. The triple system is installed in such a way that the relationship of height, width and depth of the Courtroom will be exposed in a space which has an inherent architectural focus on the sound of the room. The installation is designed to cope with the flow of people through the space at a launch event where the work can not necessarily claim the time and passivity which might be implied by a gallery situation. The amplification systems, electronically separate, inhabit the same acoustic space, and affect each other in ways that are not entirely predictable. The work assimilates and adapts to sound made in the space, the available feedback pitches are a function of the resonant frequencies of the architecture. The technology consists of a system of microphones, noise gates, amplifier and speakers in the room, 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. Through the introduction of a low volume feedback within the system, notes emerge, pitches delineated by the solid architectural characteristics of the space and modified by the transient nature of people passing through the space and disturbing the air. Available feedback pitches are a function of the resonant frequency of the space.