Sonic Ensemble

  • Jen Haugan

Collection of interactive sonic sculptures

Sonic Ensemble is a collection of interactive sonic sculptures that demonstrate various sonic principles, and includes a performance piece that combines the Doppler effect with feedback to push how we use the sonic environment as a compositional tool, and challenge what we consider music and what we may perceive as noise.

The piece was built as part of my final year MA project on the Information Experience Design course, and included four different sound objects:

1. The Aperture Machine: Mechanically alters the sound’s volume by moving the aperture mechanism. A visual way of showing how sound is compressed when you reduce the amount of air waves coming through an opening.
2. The Doppler Machine: Distorts sound by rotating speakers at a fast speed. When used with a microphone, feedback loops are created, and create interesting sonic patterns depending on where the participant places the microphone.
3. Blue Domes: Two blue domes participants could touch to send sound through to the other objects.
4. Vibrating Platform: Wooden box with a speaker inside, causing the box to vibrate when sound is played through the speaker. Visitors could step onto the platform and experience what different frequencies felt like.

Performance history:

RA Summer Lates: The Other Paradise | Royal Academy of Arts
Hackoustic Presents | IKLECTIK
Sonic Ensemble | Royal College of Art, London, 2017
Making the Long Tail | White City, London, 2017
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