No. 82


By : Liliana Carvalho

Entrant’s location : United Kingdom



SonuScape is an art and architectural-study project that explores the third dimension of Graphic Notations / Scores.

What did you create?

SonuScape is an exploration on the third dimension of Graphic Notations / Scores. This art-based study proposes the creation of an interplay: combining abstract 2D graphic expressions of Sound with hypothetical sculptural pieces design in a Space, suggesting a 3D Sonograph or Neo-notation. Following Alain Corbin’s thoughts in his ‘Village Bells’ book [1994], by considering a soundscape as an auditory or aural landscape, we define it as a physical environment and a way of perceiving that environment. With a ludic and cross modal approach the resulting apparatus encourages a phenomenological kinaesthetic experience by proposing a conversion of a sonic realm into an immersive environment. Therefore, SonuScape works as an interactive ‘playscape’.

Why did you make it?

My research has been panning from architecture to music. Inevitably Sound and Space have become two crucial working elements - exploring their cross-pollination and inherent dialogue has been driven my resilient curiosity. Supported on this collaborative and integrative attitude, my analysis focus on how architecture can contribute for a sonic expression nowadays. And this is SonuScape’s main goal. The inspiring interdisciplinarity between the various artistic expressions applied in the 50’s allowed the introduction of Graphic Scores as well as new techniques and devices on the sonic realm. Sound Art evolution and propagation took quite a leap when combined with visual arts; simultaneously architecture has been usually presented as a visual art form. The developed hegemony of vision in Western culture has been one of Juhani Pallasmaa’s reflection and critique on his book ‘The eyes of the skin - Architecture and the Senses’ [1996]. Pallasmaa is concern on ‘the consequent disappearance of sensory and sensual qualities from the arts and architecture.’ Sharing this architect and theorist thoughts on understanding that architecture works as a medium for a phenomenological experience, SonuScape study perceives to deliver a combination of sensorial awareness with abstract sonic systems altering them unto an architectural realm.

How did you make it?

As a first case study I used an excerpt (60 seconds) of Edgar Varese and Iannis Xenakis sound work ‘Poeme electronique’ premiered in 1958 at the Brussels World Fair. Inspired by John Cage’s iconic 1968 ‘Notations’ and Theresa Sauer’s 2009 ‘Notations 21’ I studied few examples on imaginative ways of experiencing, communicating and reconceiving music visually. Supported by DAW software you are able to forensically analyse the spectrogram and sonograph of the sonic work, as well as its panning. After gathering all the material and data I designed an abstract hypothetical graphic score for ‘Poeme electronique’ excerpt. Shifting this 2D design into a 3D apparatus is a study on imaginative ways of experiencing, communicating and reconceiving form visually. After studying and examining few precedents I consider being relevant for this project such as urban furniture, art sculptures, and most specially, post-war playgrounds I was able to scale, structure, distribute and map out objects in an hypothetical landscape. For each piece designed in SonuScape project corresponds a sound from ‘Poeme electronique’ excerpt. One will be able to interact with each piece and trigger it. This process synthesizes a playful and artistic approach with a visual-haptic learning system.

Your entry’s specification

-Architectural main materiality: Cork, Metal tubular system, polyurethane resin for floor finish -Projects Implementation area: Please note that these dimensions depend on the music/sound piece studied. [ the example shown with ‘Poeme electronique’ excerpt: dim.26,5 x 9,1 m] -Infrastructure (mech and elect): Arduino and MaxMSP for sound trigger.