“Nautilus" is a multiple-speaker installation with non-equal-distant placement of speakers placed in logarithmic spiral. The goal is to acousically sculpt and define a space with choreographed movement of composed sounds through geometrically placed speakers.
“Nautilus” runs 8 stems of 25-minute composition through the Ambiosonic application. The outputs can be distributed across any number of speakers. The speakers form a logarithmically shaped virtual space, and each sound source represent a resonating “object”, whose placement and sounding define and sculpt the virtual space, like a sonic furniture. The trajectory and the dynamics of each “object” is scripted rather than performed live.
There is a clear distinction between sculpting a space with sounds, as opposed to spatializing sounds. The difference is that in the former, the sound is the operand and the space is the result. In contrast, spatialization techniques such as WFS or Diffusion typically treat space as the operand and spatialized-sound as the result.
While the combination of electronic sounds and noise/drone structure is arguably a suitable medium for installations due to it’s lack of temporal information and what Natasha Barrett tags as extrinsic identity (a strong association to a known event such that the sound already possesses a certain identity), I have chosen to work with familiar acoustic sounds of Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Electric Piano and Drums, for aesthetic reasons, in more or less a “song” format.
The challenge of using a song in a sound installation is in removing just enough structure without demolishing it, so as to eliminate the sense of time and reference, to achieve the right amount of “sameness.” The only way to achieve this is by deconstructing the song into seemingly unrelated events, but maintain enough tension between pitch and tempo.
The speakers should be placed in a reasonably large room, so that the outer-most speaker is at least 30 feet away from the axis. The horizontal placement of the speakers should follow and be placed on the spiral line. Starting with the first speaker near the axis, the distance to the next speaker on the spiral should increase according to an exponential function. . Each speaker should face the center of the axis. The vertical placement should be such that the vertical distance between speaker #1 on the floor, and the last speaker towards the ceiling is about 12 feet.
The number of speakers is to be increased as fit in order to form a visually recognizable spiral, starting with a minimum of 16. There should be a modest amount of room reverberation similar to that of a drum booth in a studio.
The listeners are highly encouraged to walk around the room. Sound ensemble will materially change depending on the listener’s position, and as such, the listener’s positioning is the final and most relevant factor in shaping the space.
Image of Speaker Placement