marta beauchamp


open-air sound installation

six-channel sound installation (02:30:00).
6 × 20cm speakers, supercollider script running on Bela

Photos © Cathleen Falckenhayn, Marta Beauchamp

“Follow the passage. Please turn off your torch light and walk at your own speed. Take your time”.
It’s getting dark and will get even darker. Tall hedges flank the crooked narrow footpath only leaving a slit of sky for the eyes. A low-frequency swarming sound coming from somewhere raises and sinks into the ground.

The sound installation, sited in an unlit footpath connecting to city streets, chases the ever-changing light quality at dusk. The composition, based on moon and sun light intensity prediction data, is juxtaposed to the real light conditions of the evening.
By means of additive synthesis, using the programming language “supercollider”, light intensity values are translated into frequencies and amplitudes. Six loudspeakers, placed half-way through the passage, oriented from east to west at an interval of 3 meters, are controlled by a "Bela" board which executes the supercollider code.
Depending on the time of the night, different speaker pairs reproduce sound. The piece begins east and ends west. The 2.5 hour composition develops at the same speed as the speed of the setting sun and moon. Since the position and timing of stars and planets varies every day, a new piece is composed for each day.

The piece was presented at the Open-Air exhibition "Abendspaziergang Bielefeld 2021".
Information regarding the event is available from the exhibition website.

Organisation: Vera Brüggemann, Christine Gensheimer
Sponsors: bielefelder bürgerstiftung, Sparkasse Bielefeld, kulturamt bielefeld, NRW Kultur Sekretariat
Thank you to all voulounteers who supervised the installation and to the "schwarze Passage" locals who provided electricity.