Networked_Music_Review

NOX Son-O-House

2_sono_1538ok.jpgNOX Son-O-House, Son en Breugel, The Netherlands: Son-O-House is a public pavilion that is both an architectural and a sound installation that allows people to not just hear sound in a musical structure, but also to participate in the composition of the sound. It is an instrument, score and studio at the same time. A sound work, made by composer Edwin van der Heide, it is continuously generating new sound patterns activated by sensors picking up actual movements of visitors.

The structure is derived from typical action-landscapes that develop in a house: a fabric of larger scale bodily movements in a corridor or room, together with smaller scale movements around a sink or a drawer. This carefully choreographed set of movements of bodies, limbs and hands are inscribed on paper bands as cuts (an uncut area corresponds with the bodily movement, a first cut through the middle corresponds with limbs, and finer cuts correspond with movements of the hands and feet).

We staple the pre-informed paper bands together at the point where they have the most connective potential and as a result curvature emerges. The outcome is an arabesque of complex intertwining lines that is both a reading of movements on various bodily scales and a material structure since the paper curves stand upright in cooperation with each other. We only have to sweep these lines sideways to marry the open structure of lines with the closed surface of the ground. This results again in a three-dimensional porous structure which is very similar to the structure that is obtained by the combing, curling and parting of hair. We digitize this paper analog-computing model and remodel it into the final structure of interlacing vaults which sometimes lean on each other or sometimes cut into each other.

In the house-that-is-not-a-house we position 23 sensors at strategic spots to indirectly influence the music. This system of sounds, composed and programmed by sound artist Edwin van der Heide, is based on moiré effects of interference of closely related frequencies. As a visitor one does not influence the sound directly, which is so often the case with interactive art. One influences the real-time composition itself that generates the sounds. The score is an evolutionary memoryscape that develops with the traced behavior of the actual bodies in the space. The Son-O-House is one of our typical art projects which allow us to proceed more carefully and slowly (over a period of three to four years) while generating a lot of knowledge that we apply to larger and speedier projects.

NOX: Lars Spuybroek with Chris Seung-woo Yoo, Josef Glas, Ludovica Tramontin, Kris Mun, Geri Stavreva and Nicola Lammers

Public artwork for Industrieschap Ekkersrijt in collaboration with composer Edwin van der Heide


Sep 10, 2007
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Networked_Music_Review (NMR) is a research blog that focuses on emerging networked musical explorations.

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