02_Phonotactic Lattice KMA

Knoxville Museum of Art
Phonotactic Lattice in collaboration with Jesse Michael Thompson
September 1- November 11, 2011

Transducers were installed across the museum’s Great Hall, turning the windows into speakers. Jesse created the tracks in Live and I made a PD patch to run the installation and affect changes over time.  This was the largest space I have worked in and the most challenging installation, in technical terms, for me to date. We ran speaker cable at lengths of over 200′. Everything had to be retuned and reprogrammed once we got it installed to accommodate for the acoustic properties of the glass and the room. There was a lot of low-frequency sound mixed with much higher peaks in a very acoustically active space. It was also one the most rewarding experiences in working with sound. The spatial separation of the sounds was notable across distinct points in the room where the sounds combined, noises cancelled, or other unique audio events happened from boundary loading, etc…created a sonic lattice. The degree of movement of the glass was fascinating and a little disquieting. I made the mounting brackets from CAD models that were produced by 3D printer, off the shelf hardware, and steel brackets I welded together to mount on the window frames and support beams in the hall.

This is a recording from the installation. It has been mixed down to 2 channels so the experience of listening in this format is quite different than that of the installation itself. Transducer placement and volume levels were set to allow the sounds to create a shifting lattice across the large space.

the following three tracks are portions of the sound from the original tracks.  Each one mixes all channels down to two and have exported as .wav files from Pure Data. This is not what it sounded like in the massive hall at the KMA.

Jesse provided the field recordings and applied edits and effects in Live. I generated filters, engineered the sound spatialization and other effects for the installation in Pure Data.

tracks are also available on my SoundCloud page

floor plan

crappy image of Jesse at the start of the installation but gives sense of the scale and in the background there is that golden geodesic dome from the world’s fair- the reflections off of it are awesome