Back to:
last page

Prix 1987 - 2007

ORF Oberösterreich

Sound Mapping
Iain Mott, Mark Raszewski , Jim Sosnin

Sound Mapping is a participatory work of sound art made for outdoor environments.The work is installed in the environment by means of a Global Positioning System (CPS) which tracks the movement of participants through the space.Their position is mapped to musical functions that relate to their immediate surroundings creating a walk-through composition arranged in geographical space rather than time.The premier exhibition of Sound Mapping took place in the Sullivan's Cove docks district of Hobart,Tasmania in January-Februar 1998. Participants wheeled four movement-sensitive, sound producing suitcases into the Cove to realise an algorithmic composition written specifically for the precinct. The suitcases played music in response to the geographical location and movements of the cases made by the participants. Music produced through this interaction is designed to reflect the region in which it is produced as well as the personal involvement of the participants. In the Hobart show participants moved as a group following a path from the Tasmanian Museum & Art Gallery around Victoria and Constitution Docks. Accompanied by a Museum attendant, participants progressed through a series of musical zones.

Each musical zone is detected using the GPS unit carried by the attendant in a fifth suitcase along with a music computer and radio equipment for audio transmission and data reception. While in a given zone, electronic music is generated in response to suitcase movements. This is achieved by means of gyroscopes to measure tilt and lateral movement, and an odometer to measure forward and backward velocity. Data from each of the four sound producing suitcases is radioed back to the attendant's case. The computer in this suitcase interprets the data and produces four channels of music. Each channel is then broadcast back to a target suitcase where it is played over the case's speaker system.
Each suitcase plays it own distinct musical voice, one that changes each time a new musical zone is encountered. The textures, pitches and rhythm of each voice is highly flexible and varies with the movement of each case. In addition to direct relationships between a case's movement and its resultant sound output, interplay between cases generates complex musical outcomes.This interplay between voices and the unique nature of each individual's movements ensures that each performance of Sound Mapping is different.