Networked_Music_Review

“Soundpockets” by HC Gilje

soundpocket3.jpgSoundpockets is a series of intimate sound interventions in public spaces. By using FM radiowaves, soundbeams and miniature speakers to create local pockets of sound, the different projects create private listening rooms, change the soundtracks of locations, and/or displace time and space.

Soundpocket 1 — created for Urban Interface, Oslo (2007) — was installed in a narrow passageway connecting two parts of the city. The soundbeam, which can be as narrow as 50 cm in diameter, was mounted on a pan/tilt head which made it possible to place the sounds very precisely in the passageway. By bouncing the sound off surfaces, it seemed as if the sound could be coming from a window, door, elevator, or a poster on the wall. Most of the sounds seemed to belong to the site; others were slightly out of place, like the sound of a chandelier blowing in the wind.

soundpocket2.jpgI wanted it to be slight distortions to the regular soundscape of the passageway, and was pleased to see that the people who used this passageway regularly were noticing these disturbances. This could be described using the first of Barthes´ three listening modes: hearing involves “evaluation of the spatio-temporal situation“ and thus, it is linked to a “notion of territory“. It places the listener on alert when new sounds which don’t “fit in” are heard. By adding an extra layer of sound if also made people focus on the sounds which were already there.

soundpocket.jpgFor Soundpocket 2, HC Gilje set up an Internet radio station (using Nicecast), and played sounds from his library of field recordings. He found three locations in Oslo to serve as local radio stations. They were connected to visible cues: a huge oak tree, a small sculpture, and a small pond in the roundabout. The range of the local stations more or less corresponded to these visual cues: if you saw them you would be able to pick up the signal. Gilje used AAREFF FM transmitters placed with the three hosts, who allowed him to pick up their Internet radio streams. The result was three very local radio stations sending out a continuous soundtrack from other places, so somehow these recorded locations came in dialogue with the physical locations of the radio stations. The listening involved active participation from the public as you would need to tune in on your own radio to pick up the broadcast.

HC Gilje works with realtime environments, installations, live performance, set design and singlechannel video. Gilje has presented his work through different channels throughout the world: in concert-venues,theatre and cinema venues, galleries, festivals and through several international dvd releases, including 242.pilots live in Bruxelles on New York label Carpark and Cityscapes on Paris-label Lowave. He was a member of the video-impro trio 242.pilots, and was also the visual motor of kreutzerkompani. In october 2006 Gilje started a 3 year position as a research fellow at Bergen National Academy of the Arts, Norway, exploring how audiovisual technology can be used to transform, create, expand, amplify and interpret physical spaces. He blogs at Conversations with Spaces.


Mar 14, 2008
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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