Drop the bass

Multichannel interactive sound installation

2018

As part of the Exhibition “A/noesis” July 11-13, 2018. modular+ space, Berlin

Drop the Bass is a sound installation that explores the composition of new sounds through the modification of preexisting ones. It explores the dynamics of sound perception by juxtaposing frequencies in the extremes of the auditory spectrum through its activation by the audience’s presence and action, more precisely walking within the predetermined constructed space.

Drop the Bass plays explicitly with the necessity of a perceptual agent (the audience) in order to elicit its effects. The installation invites to be explored and perceived within the space it covers, for the participant soon will discover that his/her actions will reveal a musical composition that has repercussions in both ends of the spectrums, thus creating a musical performance. The more people are taking part in the experience, the more complex such experience becomes.

It consists of a space with a wooden floor in which eight contact microphones are distributed in order to sense the footsteps of the audience. Eight small speaker-cones hang from the ceiling, each one corresponding to one of the microphones. A subwoofer is located in the middle of the space. Each of the eight different channels hanging in the celling carries a high frequency tone, which differs slightly from one to another (In the range of 30 to 120 Hz.) During the whole sound installation, a constant high pitch will be heard and the steps of the audience will activate adjacent frequencies with minimal differences. Such differences in the high frequency spectrum are hard to differ, but they create beating frequencies that will not only enrich the sonic textures but also will be reinforced by the subwoofer speaker making evident the frequencies that are implicit in the lower spectrum of the harmonic series, hence the name, Drop the Bass.