Sound/Unsound Exhibition Features Student Work From Music 34: Advanced Sound Design and Digital Music

By Joseph Kind | 11/15/13 3:00am

Pickling noises tickle my ears as I walk in to the Sound/Unsound Exhibition. There are ten or so exhibits spaced across the two rooms of the Hopkins Center Garage (just next to the Courtyard Café), plus an exhibit in a storage area too small to call its own room. The exhibits are the products of current and past students of Music 34: Advanced Sound Design and Digital Music. Undergraduate and graduate students attended the reception on Nov. 14, and were treated with delectable hors d' oeuvresand wine for those of age. The exhibits challenge traditional listening experiences with interactive elements. They were all strangely mysterious, for the most part, bending sounds into high and low frequencies based on three-dimensional motion, lights and buttons, for example. Many of the descriptions for the works only vaguely explained what was happening, much of the experience was up for individual interpretation. There was also mystery in the visual displays of the exhibits, serving as more than audio experiences; one of the works converted vibrations into a visual “pattern” onto the floor, for example.

One of my favorite works in the show was titled "No Work, All Play." It featured an empty desk and a swivel chair. Viewers were encouraged to sit in the chair and spin around in order to make different sounds at high and low frequencies, depending on the movement of the chair. An addicting work for sure; it was hard to get up and stop moving! I'm sure I would get no work done if I had a desk chair that responded to my every motion with sound.

The whole experience, visual and auditory senses combined, was interesting, to say the least. And I mean interesting in a good way! Anyone curious about sound manipulations should check out this exhibit before it closes Nov. 15 at 8 p.m.


Joseph Kind