Soundmirrors (2013)

About this event

Soundmirrors – Rob Olins with soundtrack by Douglas Benford

Wednesday 23 October – Saturday 23 November

The work comprises a series of acoustic mirrors and speakers that are arranged in such a way as to create a soundscape through which the audience can navigate. The principal is based on 1930s aircraft early warning technology but became out of date as planes started to go faster than sound.

Acoustic reflectors are a simple way of amplification by collecting sound waves within bowl shaped form that focuses the waves to a single high density point. Interesting effects will take place as any sound emitted from a speaker near to the mirror will be concentrated at one specific point away from the speaker and mirror and apparently not related to either.

Consequently in some cases other participants will be able to hear very clearly although be quite far away, alternatively someone quite close may not hear anything from the speaker at all. The participant will be in an environment of sound illusions. Douglas Benford has created audio collage of sounds found in Brentford specifically designed to work with this installation.

To get the full effect stand on the red dots.

Soundtrack: Brentford collage by composer Douglas Benford.

This is a series of audio recordings of local Brentford environs – urban and natural – recorded, edited and collated by local resident Douglas over several years, a ‘sound snap shot’ of the unusual juxtaposed with the more familiar.

Rob Olins is a Sculptor that explores the relationship of sound and light in architectural specific spaces, particularly those in the public realm.  At the same time he continues to continuing to explore current technologies that offer an ever increasing range of opportunities for the observer to interact with an artwork, and radically alter it. From the start his practice involved working with other specialists. His first major commission in 1990, the Acoustic Ceiling project, in the City of London involved working with acoustic and structural engineers.  Since then he has have been commissioned to create site specific works in the UK, USA, Kuwait, the UAE, South Africa, Germany and the Maldives for a wide range of sites and clients, for universities, schools hospitals, transport hubs and large corporations receiving awards for some of these works. He has worked with Cambridge University Photonics, Warwick University International Manufacturing Centre, Buro Happold “special projects” Edward Cullinan Architects and Light Projects to name a few. He will be currently working with the university of Bath Architecture Department examining Acoustics and Special Schools. He has exhibited in the Ikon, Whitechapel, ICA and Towner Galleries.

Douglas Benford is a sound artist and composer, involved in various audio genres since the 1980s, having performed at institutions in the UK (Bristol’s Arnolfini, London’s Science Museum, Tate Modern,ICA, and Glasgow’s CCA), and festivals worldwide (Mutek, Synch, Transmediale). After numerous electronica releases in his ‘si-cut.db’ guise, he has in recent years focused on acoustic improvisation and installations, using field recordings, classical instruments,  vocals and children’s toys. His collaborators include Stephan Mathieu, Scanner, Jem Finer (of The Pogues), Kaffe Mathews, Lina Lapelyte, pop/rock artists Saint Etienne, Momus and Rod Thomas (Bright Light Bright Light), poet Tamar Yoseloff, and DJ Andrew Weatherall. Benford is also co-curator with Iris Garrelfs, since 1996, of Sprawl audio events and in the last few years his work has featured on radio stations BBC Radio 3, Resonance FM, and BBC 6 Music.

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