final project: abstract / overview


My site-specific project will be a compilation of individual sound pieces that together will be part of an immersive installation – An Experimental Space for Reconnection with the Natural World – existing within a small house. In addition to sound, the installation will incorporate sculptural elements and video projections.



  • Astral Totems sound walk from a coffee shop, two blocks from the house installation, designed to transition visitor/participants from a general collective reality to a shared personal alternate/dreamlike reality
  • the walk should take approximately five minutes, but the sound file has an extra fat minute of ambient sound at the end, in case of unexpected delays
  • one guide and four participants per walk
  • equipment: one ipod, five sets of headphones, one five-way splitter
  • sound to-do: if time permits, tweak the sound file based on feedback from my sound collage critique



  • speakers on the front porch of the house playing the same ambient sound as at the end of Astral Totems, so when headphones are removed, the ambient sound will continue to be heard
  • sound to-do: edit and prerecord ambient sound to play on a loop
  • technical: one speaker? two speakers? what is holding the sound file?



  • pod chair and fireplace portal with projections
  • some seed pods are hung in this area to make it look as if they are migrating to the stairwell (see that area for more info)
  • not yet sure about the sound, but this is the area that most pertains to my bibliography post about healing sounds/vibrations… probably will include a cat’s purrrrrrrrrrrr (there is a bit of purr at the end of Astral Totems)
  • sound to-do: create a prerecorded soundscape that can be played on a loop
  • technical: keep this simple in terms of equipment (perhaps burn the sound file to a CD – gasp! – and play on a boom box?)



  • Astral Flora will be installed in this space after inhabiting the Miller Gallery
  • Astral Flora is a reconfiguration of Pistil Tickle, this time using projections (instead of flashlights) to trigger mini vibration motors inside glass test tubes to produce a cicada-esque sound
  • additionally, clear glass bottles will be hung throughout the room, although I am not yet sure if they will be a source of sound… seems like they should be…
  • technical: I am still struggling to get the motors working… sigh… see this post



  • visitors will be physically blocked from entering the space (by a hanging ‘wall’ of silver coffee cans), but will have visual access to the kitchen with a type of portal-sightline to a window at the far side of the room
  • sound process: over the last couple of months, I have been recording morning sounds of birds and making coffee
  • for a more in-depth description of the sounds and the concept, see ‘2) process’ in my found sound collage idea post
  • sound to-do: create a prerecorded soundscape that can be played on a loop
  • technical: keep this simple in terms of equipment -OR- go for a bunch of mini-speakers in the coffee cans?


STAIRWELL : from Floor 1 to Floor 2

  • seed pods hanging from taut twine… see this post for a tease
  • I now have about 60 pods in the stairwell, with additional pods hung throughout Room 1 (around the pod chair and fireplace portal) in a more freeform way to give the illusion the little pods are slowly migrating to a more ordered configuration in the stairwell
  • I absolutely love this piece, as does my cat… we both think the seed pod sounds are wonderful, and I pluck the twine nearly every time I ascend/descend the stairs to benefit from the gentle rustle-rattle
  • sound to-do: continue to sew, glue, and then hang the remaining pods, about 60 more…


FLOOR 2 : top of stairs

  • the doors of two rooms at the top landing will both be closed, with the doors being used as projection screens
  • the projection visible from the base of the stairwell will be trees in an old-growth redwood forest, slowly morphing
  • sound thoughts: I like the idea of a low-frequency rumble in this space… walking through the forest park (where I took the photos that will be morphed in the projection), I was listening (with my iphone and earbuds) to the very low, guttural chanting of Gyoto monks, which seemed the perfect soundtrack for the forest
  • sound to-do: create a prerecorded soundscape that can be played on a loop
  • technical: one speaker? two speakers? what is holding the sound file?





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