The School of Sound

Gerhard Eckel

Künstlerisches Projekt

Symposium u.a. mit einem Vortrag und einer Installation von Gerhard Eckel


"Sound and space in recent media art"

Based on examples of his own work, Eckel examins the use of spatialization in multimedia installation pieces. Among others, his installations "Camera Musica", "Grenzenlose Freiheit", "Raumfaltung", "Fenster", and "IMPULSE/RESPONSE" will be discussed.


Gerhard Eckel
IMPULSE / RESPONSE - London Edition
Commissioned by The School of Sound
Foyer of Purcell Room and Queen Elisabeth Hall
South Bank Centre, London
March 30th – April 2nd 2005

“IMPULSE / RESPONSE – London Edition” is a generative sound environment inscribed into the foyer of the Purcell Room and the Queen Elizabeth Hall at the London South Bank Centre. Based on recorded sound material, a computer program [a composition] generates an infinite and ever changing flow of slowly evolving sonic pattern. The characteristics of the impulses creating these patterns and the temporal evolutions of the latter have been adjusted by ear in situ such as to fit the specific acoustics of the space [the process of inscription]. Eight loudspeakers project the resulting sound textures onto reflecting surfaces of the foyer’s ceiling thus achieving a rather diffuse sound projection. As the spectral energy of the sounds is concentrated in the highest registers, they lend themselves best to reflection and occupy only a small niche in the acoustic ecology of the foyer situation. The soft and thin sonic textures interfere little with the sounds that naturally inhabit this space of social exchange between the participants of the School of Sound symposium. The aural atmosphere created by the installation will remain on a subconscious level for most of the time. Should a series of impulses enter our consciousness it is probably because it provoked our auditory sense to come up with an idea for a possible reading of the ever-changing abstract sound patterns. Situated between synthetic and concrete sound qualities, the trains of impulses evoke a broad spectrum of associations, of rich responses. The sounds and their evolutions are composed such that they may be listened to with much attention and will not deceive the interested ear. At the same time they may be taken as an unspecific auditory decoration, an aural ornament that doesn’t claim attention. This is achieved by a combination of refined development on the local time scale with a well-balanced stasis on the global time scale – two of the main characteristics of ornamentation.