moiré patterns

Moiré Patterns is a commissioned composition for a unique soundspace at the Platz der Weltausstellung. It is located within the city center of Hannover and consists of sixteen speaker pillars in public space that form a 2000 metre square. Loudspeakers are set into the pillars at head height, connected to a computer in the vicinity so that a soundspace can be created on the square.

Analogues to moiré-patterns in the visual domain, e.g. when two grids are overlaid at an angle that creates an interference pattern, this 16 channel composition produces an immersive organic field of sound, in which temporarily, polyphonic rhythmical structures, sound weaves and psychoacoustic spaces emerge and disappear.

These rich sonic patterns (complex acoustic interferences) arise when simple and almost identical synthesized sounds are played back in parallel that differ slightly in respect to one sonic dimension (their frequency, phase or other spectral parameters).

From an arrangement in which shapes of overlapping triads preside over the sonic organization of the composition a flow of complexly layered and almost tangible sound patterns emerges, not from “within” but in the spaces between the speakers - where sounds collide, interfere and unite.

Spectators can constantly explore and discover new psychoacoustic gestalts by moving around to catch these phenomena in the sound field. Depending on ones own position and direction of head this contributes to an active listening discovery process, in which the composition is revealed through an ever-changing interaction of movement, the physicality of sound and the generative qualities of perception.

Sixteen channel composition by Benno Belke and Oli Larkin

Commissioned by Musik 21 - Niedersächsische Gesellschaft für Neue Musik e.V. (NGNM)
and Landeshauptstadt Hannover Kulturbüro

Moiree Patterns concert © Matthias Stehr

Moiree Patterns concert © Matthias Stehr

Moire Patterns Illustration: Disembodies sound field

Platz der Weltausstellung: Aerial shot

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