Friday, September 3, 2010

The acoustics of different environments

A successful multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Bird recently joined instrument and acoustic engineer Ian Schneller to create a novel live music experience, something they're calling the Sonic Arboretum, which premiered as part of the Guggenheim Museum's Dark Sounds series last month.

"Usually you think of acoustics in closed spaces because sound bounces off of things. But if you're in Zion National Park or the Sandstone Cliffs, you create this acoustical space with different textures of the plants in our area....And that's what we're trying to appropriate in this," says Bird (hence the botanical metaphor).

Bird uses his speakers almost like microphones. Using a loop peddle, he'll record and play back musical lines, controlling which horns amplify the sounds.

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