Phantom Melodies is an installation with a number of rotating speakers, each producing a specific stream of sounds. The speakers are placed in a space where the public can walk about freely. The installation is playing in a constant loop: as a result it is perceived as a constantly shifting sound field.
This work is embedded around an ongoing research in dynamic sound diffusion: can sound be detached by its source with movement, psychoacoustics and reflections?
Furthermore, the emphasis in this work is not so much a shared experience (for example a concert), but much more, the individual perception, mainly because sounds will be constantly different depending on the listeners location. The sonic experience modifies in time (cfr. the linear composition). But even more important: it shifts according to the listeners position. This work has the aim to trigger perceptive mechanisms and therefore challenges different listening modes. The installation will find it’s meaning when the individual chooses to participate and/or if he takes a position.
This work includes a performance. Where the performers play with speed and rotation direction. Actually minimal changes in rotation and direction has a lot of impact on the perceived sounds. Tuning the speakers speeds and rotation is a core element of the performance.
The composition in Phantom Melodies is a 6 channel work (5 rotating speakers + 1 subwoofer). The sounds for the installation are a combination of filtered tones and field recordings gathered in the Amazon forest in Brazil. All the speakers are individually rotating. Speed and direction is altered in relation to the composition. This is a dynamic work, mostly because of the form (rotation) and content (composition) of the work. The rotation and directional movements of the speaker crafts the composition. The speakers are very light and delicate and are placed on a rotating stand. The speaker element consists two full range tweeters. Every speaker has a (silent) motor with adjustable speed and rotating direction driven by a computer. The subwoofer serves as a static source of sound, an auditive and fixed counterweight to the rotating speakers.