Ah...the sea is an experiment in 3D sound commissioned by the Science Museum's Dana Centre in London.
In Ah...the sea, Gabi Braun was interested in bringing the seaside into the D Studio of the Dana Centre, using 3D sound to envelop visitors in a typical British seaside scene.
Standing in the soundscape enables people to locate and map the position of various sounds as the scene unfolds and mini-narratives play out - waves break on one side, in the distance a funfair, a dog determined to chase the seagulls away and children playing in their complex make believe world made out of sand, and so on.
Animated representation of how the seaside sounds
move inside a 3D space in 'Ah...the sea'Graphic Designer - Zoltan Ray
Having listened to the soundscape and established what is going on, visitors are invited to question whether what they hear is real or fake? Does it matter? Do you think you could tell the difference between a natural scene that is recorded on one 360 degree mike and one that has been composited from lots of individual sounds? Do people understand 3D soundscapes more by manipulating them rather than just listening to them?
"A treat for the imagination to run wild!"
In contrast to the previous 3D Sound work created by Braunarts - The DARK - 'Ah...the sea' invites visitors to manipulate the 3D soundscape themselves in order to consider the questions raised. A joystick in the centre of the blue space enables visitors to rotate the soundscape around themselves and test the 3D spatialisation by moving from that state to a mono state where all of the sounds are heard in every direction. To fully extend the range of manipulation, visitors can also turn the entire seaside scene upside down!
"...the latest technology combines
art with science to create aural illusions"
Heather Pinnell - Insitute of Physics magazine 'INTERACTIONS', October 2007
'Ah...the sea' is part of a series of exhibitions about the 5 senses, focussing on sound, and designed to question how effectively engineering can model reality. The series has been funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering and is organised by the Science Museum.
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