Posts Tagged 'sound design'

Behind-the-Scenes: The Making of Coastlines Soundscapes

Have you immersed yourself yet in the multi-sensory experience of Coastlines: Images of Land and Sea?  If not, let me tease you…

This is one of twelve individual sound designs created for works of art in the exhibition, and these individual sound designs represent only one layer of a three-part, synchronized sound installation. A global soundscape powered by two subwoofers is audible throughout the Coastlines exhibition and contains musical elements shaped by the natural sounds and rhythms of waves. Regional soundscapes emerge from ten ceiling-mounted speakers and respond to the thematic sections of the exhibition. The twelve local, or individual, soundscapes representing interpretations of selected works of art are delivered through Holosonics hyperdirectional speakers, which allow for a controlled design of the auditory space.  Now that I’ve geeked out on the technology of the sound installation, let me tell you a little more about the making of this sonic experience.

The Coastlines sound installation was created by graduate students and faculty in the Arts and Technology program at the University of Texas at Dallas, in collaboration with undergraduate students in the School of Information and Communication and Media Engineering at the Université du Sud Toulon-Var (USTV), in Toulon, France.  The project began in September 2009 with several planning meetings between UT Dallas and the Dallas Museum of Art focusing on exhibition themes and artworks, as well as technological possibilities. UT Dallas faculty and students presented a proof of concept demonstration in December 2009 for the multilayer sound design and use of hyperdirectional speakers. In January 2010, under the direction of UT Dallas professor Dr. Frank Dufour, students selected works of art in the Coastlines exhibition and began composing sonic interpretations for these works. Lead graduate students Michael Austin and Jason Barnett also began work on the conceptual and technical development of the overall multilayer sound design.

Professor Frank Dufour talks with French students via Skype.

Communications about the project between the creators occurred primarily through the Internet using Skype, a free web-based chat software, and a private social network that provided a forum for the exchange of ideas, images, and iterative sound designs.  The exchange was bilingual, encouraging each set of students to work through language barriers.  In addition, Michael Austin visited the USTV students in Toulon, France during project development to lead them in sound design workshops.  One of the workshops included collecting sounds from the harbor in Toulon, France.  Many of these were used in the individual sound designs created by students in Texas and France.

Michael collects sounds of the harbor in Toulon.

French students record the sound of water.

This project is an education initiative undertaken in part with the support of FRAME, the French Regional and American Museum Exchange. FRAME fosters exchanges between a group of American and French art museums committed to establishing long-term partnerships on common projects that make their respective resources available to a wider public. Several collaborating museums and universities involved with FRAME are focused on the relationship between music and art and support the work of young artists.

This Friday night at the Dallas Museum of Art Late Night you can support the work of young artists involved in the Coastlines sound design project.  Visit the exhibition, then stop into the Theater in the Center for Creative Connections at 8:30 p.m. to hear Dr. Dufour and students from UT Dallas share insights about the project and their process.

Nicole Stutzman
Director of Teaching Programs and Partnerships

New Resources for Teachers

ATWAS Pachy imageExplore ten works of art in the new All the World’s a Stage:Celebrating Performance in the Visual Arts teaching materials.   These resources include information, images, music, and  much more! 

I encourage you and your students to discover ways that these works of art communicate ideas about the power of performance.

Until next time…

Jenny Marvel
Manager of Learning Partnerships with Schools

The Sounds of Art

Iceburgs 1979_28

The Icebergs

What do artworks sound like?  This spring a group of graduate students from the Institute for Interactive Arts and Engineering at The University of Texas at Dallas and their professor, Dr. Frank Dufour, explored this question.  The Institute is an interdisciplinary program offering degrees that merge technology and the humanities.  Dufour and the students created digital soundscapes for works of art in the DMA, introducing visitors to new ways of interpreting and experiencing art.

Emma-O

Emma-O

A sculpture of the Buddhist judge Emma-O, Frederic Church’s painting The Icebergs, and the ancient sculpture Head of the rain god Tlaloc are among the artworks that students chose as the inspiration for soundscapes.

Each of the soundscapes that were created is a layering of collected and found sounds that students mixed and manipulated with a variety of editing software.  The process began with a study of the artwork.  What do I see?  Do I imagine real or abstract sounds?  Are historical references also an influence for my soundscape?  Melanie, a graduate student who created one sound design for The Icebergs, said “… I wanted the sound to represent the volume and expanse so I moved the sound from left to right. I then added waves and a hollow moaning sound to create the feel of the sea, the desolation of the place and the immense uninhabited space of the environment.”

Head of the rain god Tlaloc

Head of the rain god Tlaloc

All visitors can experience the soundscapes while viewing the works of art in the galleries.  Bring your smartphone to the Museum, or check out an iPod Touch at the Visitor Services desk.  To listen to a few of the soundscapes and to hear more about the project in an interview with Dr. Dufour, visit KERA’s Art & Seek blog.

Nicole Stutzman

Director of Learning Partnerships with Schools and the Community


Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,604 other followers

Archives

Twitter Updates

Flickr Photo Stream

Categories