With fast-paced technological advancement and urbanization, the atmosphere is continuously crammed with many sounds that contrast in quality with the sounds from previous years. This alteration to our acoustic environment has heightened the problem of noise pollution, its impact on humans, the disruption of wildlife habitats, and ecological harmony. Furthermore, sounds and acoustic behaviors are an essential component of our heritage, and they tell the stories of our history and our society. As such, it is a vital aspect of cultural heritage and an essential tool in understanding the social behaviors of past communities. This project aims to utilize sound to investigate the link between technology, society, and our soundscape. This sound installation project explores the evolution of telecommunications and how it transforms our communication culture, media ecology and, eventually, our soundscape. The installation will be presented at the Theater & Nedelmann in Rödermark-Urberach on Die Tage der Industriekultur Rhein-Main 2023 from Tuesday, 29th August to Sunday, 3rd September 2023.
From an artistic point of view, this project investigates the possibilities of sound in generating a sensory and engaging experience for the audience. By consciously listening and understanding the sounds in our environment, we can create works of art that reflect the changing nature of our acoustic environment and promote ecological awareness. Through the use of sound features synonymous with telecommunications, such as dial tones, busy signals, ringback signals, and other distinct sounds, the sound installation will explore the evolution of telecommunication and its impact on the natural soundscape. The materials will be gathered from different sources, including field recordings, archives, and personal interviews. The location of this sound installation at Theater & Nedelmann in Rödermark-Urberach is significant because its location and the town of Rödermark-Urberach have a historical connection to the telephone company Telefonbau und Normalzeit. The facility contains a telephone booth that will be incorporated with the sound installation, adding to the overall immersive experience.
This collection of sounds will be composed to catapult the listeners through time stamps, provoking a feeling of history and place and its impact on our soundscapes. The structure will reflect the evolution of telecommunication from the time of wired telephones and dial processes to the present era of smart and wireless telecommunication and how they influenced soundscapes. The recordings and data will be manipulated using various techniques, including looping, pitching, and time stretching, to create a sense of depth and variation in the soundscape.
I plan to present this sound installation in a complete 3D audio setup in the main theater area of the building as a temporary exhibition. At the same time, there will be a phone booth version, enabling people to listen beyond the duration of the Tage der Industriekultur Rhein-Main 2023. The phone booth will have a telephone receiver to play the sounds. This will give visitors a unique project experience as if inside a telephone booth turned into a sound realm. This project requires 3D audio, which is an object based system for producing three-dimensional (3D) sound field for the listener, allowing them to immerse in the sound and experience a 360 acoustic sound experience.