The Sound Gallery is a series of site-specific sound installations designed for Bruuns Galleri: one of Denmark’s largest and busiest shopping malls located in the civic center of Aarhus. The goal was to involve the general public through the use of intuitive interaction designed to arouse the visitors’ curiosity, playfulness and attention. The project involved 6 adaptive sound installations placed throughout the shopping mall over a period of three months. The artistic idea behind the Sound Gallery was awarded a prize by the Danish State Arts Foundation in the category “art in public spaces.” Sound Gallery was produced in collaboration with Bruuns Galleri with financial support from the Danish Arts Foundation, The Society of Danish Composers and The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus
On the top floor (level 5) of Bruuns Galleri there are several round skylights in varying sizes ranging from 3-6 meters in diameter. These skylights are constructed as large tubes between the ceiling and glass windows on the roof of the building. Listen Up! is a sound sculpture that utilizes these skylights to create a new audio experience. The sound is activated when one or more people walk directly under one of the skylights. The sound sculpture changes in relation to the visitor’s movement. Each skylight has its own “sound” or identity. Visitors experience different sound worlds under each of the various skylights.
The technical implementation consists of a small computer connected to a digital camera. The sound system consists of discrete speakers placed within the skylight. The hardware is concealed above the ceiling. A computer program designed by the composer translates motion into sound.
In the central hall of the shopping mall there are four large moving sidewalks connecting the various levels of the mall with the parking complex below. Because of the rather long distances that these moving sidewalks cover, a visitor might spend up to two minutes moving from the lowest level of the parking complex to the central hall. Whispering Sidewalks is a group of sound installation that offer audio surprises en route.
Several small directional speakers discretely placed along the moving sidewalks create a close and intimate audio experience. Short audio snippets are activated when a visitor passes by one of the speakers. These sounds can only be heard by a person located very close to that particular speaker. The idea is to introduce small sonic surprises on an otherwise monotonous journey on the moving sidewalk. Different visitors will have very different experiences.
Download a detailed project description as PDF: BruunsSoundGallery07