outdoor sound installations

there was a question on the Acoustic Ecology mail list about permanent outdoor sound installations. some of these were mentioned by people on the list :

Derek Holzer mentioned Max Neuhaus & his talk at the Tuned City seminar :

"check the sound installation work of Max Neuhaus, particularly his Times Square piece:"

"... His work is quite subtle and very strong conceptually. One piece in particular I remember him presenting at Tuned City in Berlin http://www.tunedcity.de was a piece for a public park, where the speakers were hidden under the ground and the sound emerged from what appeared to be drainage grills. Actually, the sound didn't seem to emerge from ANYWHERE, which was the beauty of it. Max said he spent quite a bit of time developing the (weather and vandal-proof) sound systems for these kinds of installations." -- Derek Holzer


Tuned City - listen to the talks

tuned city
info from http://www.tunedcity.de
Tuned City - Between sound and space speculation is an exhibition and conference project drawing "the traditions of critical discussion about urban space within the architecture and urban planning discourse–as well as its strategies and working methods–into the context of sound art. This expanded discussion reenforces the potential of the spatial and communicative properties of sound as a tool and means of urban practice. At the foundations of this event are artists' works and theoretical approaches which examine in a critical and sensitive way the given urban and architectural situations alongside their resulting socio-political implications, that re-use existing spaces or that conceive and open new spaces."


Derek Holzer also mentioned Scaniapark :

Scaniapark in Malmo is a permanent soundsystem embedded in an artificial hillside by the water with a regular program of sound works featured. http://scaniaparkproject.blogspot.com


Soundscapes @ Tower of David, Old City of Jerusalem, Israel

when I was in jerusalem last year they had a seasonal outdoor sound art exhibition with large instruments (& lighting) built into the courtyard at Tower of David in the Old City. http://www.aliak.com/content/soundscapes-tower-david-old-city-jerusalem has some photos/video.
http://www.towerofdavid.org.il is their site. it was called "soundscapes"


recently I saw this via a mail list : a Sea Organ in Croatia : http://www.oddmusic.com/gallery/om24550.html

Sea Organ - musical instrument played by the sea
from http://www.oddmusic.com/gallery/om24550.html
"The musical Sea Organ (morske orgulje) is located on the shores of Zadar, Croatia, and is the world’s first musical pipe organs that is played by the sea. Simple and elegant steps, carved in white stone, were built on the quayside. Underneath, there are 35 musically tuned tubes with whistle openings on the sidewalk. The movement of the sea pushes air through, and – depending on the size and velocity of the wave – musical chords are played. The waves create random harmonic sounds."

"This masterpiece of acoustics and architecture was created by expert Dalmatian stone carvers and architect Nikola Basic in 2005, who recently received the European Prize for Urban Public Space for this project. Many tourists come to listen to this unique aerophone, and enjoy unforgettable sunsets with a view of nearby islands. Famed director Alfred Hitchcock said that the most beautiful sunset in the world can be seen from precisely this spot on the Zadar quay. That was how he described it after his visit to Zadar, a visit he remembered throughout his life by the meeting of the sinking sun and the sea."

apparently there is also a similar one in Blackpool, UK too. (though I don't have a link for it)


Normand Fisher suggested Michael Bussière – "V.I.P." in Ottowa, Canada

"Found outside on the grounds of Ottawa City Hall on the Festival Plaza, V.I.P. (Virtual Instrument Paradigm) has many voices and moods, switching between a chaotic musical composition, and an interactive performance mode in which the computer 'sees' physical space as a musical ensemble. One can literally stand below the video camera and conduct a symphony with their arms. Individuals may encounter the computer making its own music for people in the near vicinity, or find it quietly waiting until it can pleasantly surprise the next person, squirrel, or leaf that wanders by."

"The hardware for the artwork is housed in five concrete towers designed and constructed by Mark West. The animated appearance of the forms adds to the alluring character of the artwork drawing people to investigate and participate. " -- Normand Fisher


Eliza Slavet suggested :
terry allen's "talking tree" (or 2 of them).... in the stuart collection at uc san diego...


Marcos Fernandes mentioned "the walkway leading to the yokohama (Japan) landmark tower has planters that trigger sounds as you walk by them"


Robin Petterd makes sonic objects which could be used in outdoor sound installations


Anthony Magen mentioned "The Master's Voice" in Canberra by Sonia Leber and David Chesworth
"A low wall snakes along the edge of a small park at the eastern end of City Walk, and sounds emanate from a rhythmic series of stainless steel grids inserted into the wall and ground. "

"When people walk past, they trigger the unexpected real-world sounds of people talking to animals, but with the sounds of the animals edited out, the voices seem to be calling out directly to the passersby: beckoning, controlling, coaxing. The addressee has been changed and visitors find themselves implicated in the work."

"The artists are interested in the juxtaposition of these personalised, intimate vocalisations in an urban, public space surrounded by commercial and government buildings. In this place – called 'Civic' no less – the work is not so much about the nature of the park but about the relationship of 'citizens' to their 'civic spaces'."

"The Master's Voice includes a diversity of communication techniques recorded at a variety of locations including farms, parks, training schools, zoos, veterinary practices and animal shows."

Gilles Malatray mentioned these links :

"Here are some examples of very interesting outdoor sound installations."

"And more and more..."

"I have wrote about this subject in :" http://desartsonnants.over-blog.com


after a google search I came across these too :

Soundplay Outdoor musical instruments such as the RAIN WHEEL which is "based on the rain stick tube rattle of the Americas) - a 22 inch diameter PVC pipe wheel with stainless steel screws and galvanized steel hardware ready for mounting. " and the KALIMBA - "a giant (60" tall) thumb piano (Sansa, Mbira or Rumba box). Six pitches, pentatonic scale"


a paper in CJO - Organised Sound Designing Sound in Public Space in Australia: a comparative study based on the Australian Sound Design Project's online gallery and database


the Australian Sound Design Project's online gallery
- "a site dedicated to the multimedia publishing of diverse sound designs installed in public space in Australia, as well as its international outreach Hearing Place"