The soundlab in Graz was a short interference within the TIK project and served the development of COL-ME’s soundworks so far. In cooperation with our TIK partner and the local organisation ESC a lab for experimenting with sounds was organized.
The original idea was to create ‘soundshowers’ – mechanical devices that would direct sound in space – basically like a laserbeam for sound.
After several unsatisfying experiments with funny shaped things we turned to use PLAAST to see how sound and water would interfere. After creating several underwater soundboxes in all kind of shapes, we came to the conclusion that swimming speakers would give the best results in the question of directed sound in space.
Still unsatisfied with the results we finally turned over to tubes – specially shaped tubes, normal tubes from carton from the garbage, plastic, glass and whatever else was at our disposal. The quite cheap speakers we used for experiment would still leak most of the sound through the back – so we started to look for isolation materials, that would be soundproof enough to give the sound no space to leak. This is not very easy to find – other than working with light, sound is really annoyingly everywhere and not so easy to cut out.
Finally it turned out that the best directional sound we could get, was to put the speaker in an isolated box and to direct it into a tube. The sound is therefore only audible directly in front of the tube, but not in the rest of the space. Thus we developed the idea of a soundorgan, that could additionally be driven by windclocks.
Each of the tubes contains one piece done within one of the COL-ME workshops/soundlabs and events. Each of the speakers is driven by one special windclock connected to the TAK server. Therefore the piece is only audible, when the clock actually gets wind. Two windclocks are supposed to be in the same space as the organ. So visitors can start/stop at least two of the tubes by themselves.