This project involves a research residency at Beaconsfield, a central London gallery dedicated to providing "a critical space for creative enquiry".A new site-specific, sculptural sound installation was created over a 6 week period during which time the gallery was open to the public 2 days per week, and this was followed by an exhibition.
Rather than installing a preconceived work the artist responded to the acoustic characteristics of the space, specifically its resonant frequencies, the way it acts as an acoustic filter for sounds arriving from beyond its walls and the way it in turn shapes and reflects sounds produced within it. Rather than bring pre-recorded sounds into the space, the artist created synthetic sounds from scratch in response to the soundscape of the space and used a pianola as the only other source of sound. The artist used a (still growing) collection of approximately 300 discarded but working domestic hi-fi speakers which, like the pianola, are redundant cultural icons that speak directly of the ongoing evolution of the way we listen. A flexible high-level sound diffusion system called the Audiobox was used allowing an immersive soundscape to be created. Sound moved through the space on precise, independent trajectories. The speakers themselves, no longer restricted to the function for which they were manufactured, became sculptural building blocks. The sound returned to the listeners ears filtered by the extraordinary acoustics of this former Ragged School for deprived children. Its rich history and remarkable architecture, combined with the experience of the curators with sound art made Beaconsfield the ideal location for this research.