Still(ness) Ringing

Gallery sunlight on Still(ness) Ringing
Photo by Micheline Roi

Presented at St. Andrew-by-the-Lake Anglican Church, Toronto Island in 2005, this immersive listening experience considers the impact of the city soundscape on physical memory and perception from the quiet solitude and sanctuary of an island church pew. A single pair of headphones rest on a church pew, fed by a direct audio signal from binaural microphones affixed to the underside of the pew. The signal is fed to the headphones through a custom-built software program (built in MaxMSP) that simulates hearing loss, applying specially-designed filters and synthesized simulations of tinnitus to the signal. As this simulation eventually recedes, portions of the microphone’s signal are then delayed and looped, producing an experience whereby sight and sound gradually become unsynchronized.

The above audio example is a direct feed of the signal heard through the headphones.

Commissioned by New Adventures in Sound Art (Toronto)

Gallery note:

For generations, Toronto Island has been an essential means of escape from the noise and pollution of the city. The pews of St. Andrews church, and many other island locations are commonly regarded as choice locations for experiencing both a quiet relief from the city, and moments of peaceful introspection.

Still(ness) Ringing is an interactive sound installation exploring the impact of the city soundscape on physical memory and perception. Situated in a single church pew, its goal is to provide participants with a heightened contemplation of those sounds which are commonly and irrevocably etched within the ear through prolonged exposure to urban environments. As a listening experience, ‘Still(ness) Ringing’ underscores the impact of this condition on the participant’s sense of personal connection with the outside world.

©Richard Windeyer 2005

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Author: Richard Windeyer

digital music / design / performance

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