Sound Walks In Silence

What type of sounds are silences? – and, What types of relationships may form between these silences? And, I do indeed mean silences as plural nouns. The name of the piece is «Lyd går i stillhet». In English the literal translation is «Sound walks in silence», but in Norwegian it can also mean «Sound goes into silence».

The object is a white round sculpture – a machine – that hangs from the ceiling by three ropes. On the underside of the machine there is a hole for the listener to puts her/his head into. Inside the machine there is a small dark chamber. Inside the walls of the chamber there are eight equidistant loudspeakers and two larger ones in the ceiling.
It is an interactive audio sculpture that provides an enclosed space for the listener to experience an intimate immersive musical landscape. A machine that composes music automatically by feeding on the silences that its listeners produce while inside the chamber.

The listener puts her head into the chamber of the machine. This event is detected by an optical sensor inside the box. Once the listener’s head is inside the chamber, the machine starts recording the sound inside with a microphone. The audio input is analyzed in real time and all the silences – i.e. sound segments with a loudness lower than a given threshold – are kept in store for the whole duration of the listener’s visit.

In order to work with this algorithmically I need to have a formal definition of what they are. Or, the computer needs a formal way to relate the data input – which is the recorded sound – to the data output – the set of silences.

Eirik Arthur Blekesaune

Eirik Arthur Blekesaune is an artist, musician, computer programmer based in Oslo, Norway. He has experience from a various artistic disciplines such as experimental music, contemporary performance art and theatre, dance performance.
He is a core member of the internationally acclaimed performance art group Verdensteatret where he works with creating sound and electromechanical sculptures, programming computer systems for multimedia, digital musical instruments design.


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