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Revoicing the Striated Soundscape

The project, Revoicing the Striated Soundscape, created a sonic space in which air-conditioners speak, chant and sing to passers-by. The project conceptualises the city soundscape as the voice of the city.

Revoicing the Striated Soundscape relates to a field of creative research into the role of sound installations in public spaces. Previous examples include Max Neuhaus’ Times Square (1977) whose work emits a sound that interacts with adjacent traffic sounds. More recent examples include Bruce Odland and Sam Auinger’s Harmonic Bridge (1998) and Bill Fontana’s White Sound-An Urban Seascape (2011), works that transform traffic sounds into new, often meditative, experiences. Revoicing the Striated Soundscape is an initiating example of the application of sound spatialisation technology to a public installation. Typically sounds are played through speaker arrays as mono or stereo playback. The work also explicitly transformed existing sound environments by recording those sound environments, shaping them in the studio and then returning the sounds to the existing environment. In so doing the work contributes a soundscape design approach by way of transforming the typical sounds of a laneway into altered experiences. The work demonstrated how spatialisation software can be applied to urban sound installations, and it presents a technique for transforming site-specific sounds by the process of recording, editing and reintroduction.
The work was awarded a Category 1 Public Art Commission for the 2012 City of Melbourne Public Art Program. As part of the award the work was peer-reviewed in an EOI process, and selected from a competitive range of applications. Samples of the work can be found on the following website:

Jordan Lacey
Industry Partners
City of Melbourne
Date: 2012
Status: Completed