10 sensor fitted chairs producing audiovisual responses. The Matthew Gallery, Chambers St, Edinburgh, March 2005. In collaboration with fellow MSc sound designers Anna Douglass, Muirrean Feore, Andrew Henley and Marc Langsman.
The installation recalls, and inverts, the classic game of ‘musical chairs’, one that we have experienced as children. Within the ‘SIT’ environment players did not act upon deviations in the music, as conventionally expected in the game, rather they created them. Sound events were triggered and shaped through their movement upon ten different chairs spread throughout the gallery space. A visual response accompanied these sonic occurrences. The events related to the machinery and technology that would generally be deemed to surround each chair when located in their respective homes. For instance, sitting and moving around upon the sofa triggered and shaped the sound of a television falling in and out of tune. An ocean sized flush was summoned upon lifting the toilet lid. Each chair has its own identity and associated ‘place’.
The chairs were acquired from Charity stores and local dump sties. Each chair was repaired and then uniquely retrofitted with electronic and electro-mechanical sensors to detect different methods of motion. These were interfaced either via USB or wired to an ICube interface box – a device which translates an analogue feed to a MIDI response, a convenient format for digital sound processing. Four Apple Macs running the software application MaxMSP were used; two driving 4-channel sound and two generating real-time visuals. These were projected onto four screens located in the centre of the space.