Alternative Resonant Spaces: Sound Art at Dartmouth

By Callie Page | 9/25/17 3:50pm

I walk to the Life Sciences Center every day (because I am a poor planner) and would like to think I’m pretty familiar with the trek. But this year I noticed something different — recently, someone has installed a giant speaker playing soothing, yet baffling, water noises and mating whale noises on the outside of the building. So, as a serious Dartbeat investigator, I decided to look into this latest Dartmouth foolishness.

After walking an entire two minutes out of my way in order to read the sign posted next to the non-facetimey LSC door (you know the one), I discovered that the speaker is a sound installation called “MicroSoundings” by Bill Fontana and part of an exhibition called “Resonant Spaces: Sound Art at Dartmouth .”Nice to know, since before then I just called it “confusing” or “unnecessary.” The project includes site-specific works in seven locations across Hanover. I can’t say that I’ve seen (heard?) all of them, but I would like to point out that that on the sign in front of the exhibit at the LSC says, "sound art can be conceptual in nature and make no sound at all.” What a beautiful scam. Catch me during midterms telling my professors that “this essay is conceptual in nature and contains no words at all.” There are also sound art installations in the Bema, Fairchild and Thayer. Next time you’re in the Bema for the Seven you can thank our wonderful institution for the mood music. 

Anyways, without further ado, here are eight Dartmouth sounds that are more realistic than whatever is playing now. I call them “Alternative Resonant Spaces”:

1.) The Alma Mater, playing on bells during random times of the day.

3:00 p.m.? Oh yeah, it’s definitely time for some school spirit DING DONG y’all.

2.) Someone eating chips in the Tower Room   

This is not the place. Could I recommend an apple instead?

3.) Foco Dark Side at 6:30 p.m.

Hear that? That’s the sound of FACETIME.

4.) Fresh tunes in Novack

Where else can you buy a bagel at 1:30 a.m. during your darkest hour AND listen to the latest hits?

5.) The Jones Media Center song

Please, would someone who knows how to use GarageBand make a remix of this absolute jam? It fuels me.

6.) First-years crying because they took Math 11        

Why did you do it?

7.) Everyone’s phones going off at the same time in class          

It’s listserv time!

8.) Actual nature sounds, I guess

We do go to school in the woods, after all. 


Callie Page