Infrasonic - experiments with music, video and extreme bass sound.
Infrasonic

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  Purcell Room 31 May 2003

 

 

If you were in the Purcell Room on 31 May, thanks for supporting our event - the largest infrasonic experiment in the world. We hope you enjoyed the show as much as we did.

We now have some results! Click below to read more:

SUMMARY OF THE EVENT

READ THE RESULTS

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SUMMARY OF THE EVENT

On 31 May 2003, two concerts were staged, back to back, at the Purcell Room London. Each concert featured an hour of contemporary music for piano and electronics, performed by GéNIA, and a new film piece by Ravi Deepres, specially created for the event. The concert featured a variety of music, including new works by Sarah Angliss, Howard Skempton and Roddy Skeaping, plus a work by Hayden Parsey, adapted by the composer for the show. Following the music, Sarah Angliss also gave a brief account of infrasound, its science and its very strange history.

At four points during the show, the audience were asked to fill out a page of a questionnaire. This was designed to measure their emotional response to the music and log any unusual experiences (such as shivers down the spine). The questionnaire and psychology experiment were designed by psychologists Ciarán O'Keeffe and Professor Richard Wiseman.

Just before two of these points, as the audience were absorbed in the film and music, the project team flooded the auditorium with infrasound (very deep bass sound). The infrasound was produced by our specially made generator (the loudspeaker in a sewer pipe, at the back of the hall). It had a frequency of 17Hz.

The two Purcell Room concerts were identical in every aspect, except the use of infrasound. If the generator was on in one piece in the 3pm show, it was off in that piece in the 5pm show (see which pieces had infrasound below). We were careful to use the infrasound at moderate levels so it would be on the cusp of perception. The music masked the infrasound - in theory this meant the audience were never fully aware of its presence. Varying where we put the infrasound enables us to rule out the emotional effects of the other elements of the concert (the music, performance and film).

The infrasound generator was designed by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). NPL acousticians Dr Richard Lord and Dan Simmons measured sound (and infrasound) levels in the auditorium, as the music played.

Thanks to everyone at the South Bank Centre, the sciart Consortium and National Physical Laboratory for their support. Thanks, also, to our many friends and colleagues whose experise, help and guidance helped to make the show happen on the night.

 

WHICH PIECES WERE LACED WITH INFRASOUND?

3pm performance

PIECE B
She goes back under water (electronics), Sarah Angliss

PIECE D
Techo Etude No 3 (solo piano), Karen Tanaka

 

5pm performance

PIECE A
Lo but Hi (piano and electronics), Hayden Parsey

PIECE C
Toccare (piano and electronics), Ton Bruynel

 

 

 


- Last update April 2003
© Sarah Angliss Spacedog, Brighton UK Tel +44(0)1273 698809