Lyre Bird

Permanent interactive sound installation. Positioned in the entranceway of Perth Concert Hall, Perth, Scotland.
Completed 10th September 2005. In collaboration with Richard Brown, Andrew Henley and Marc Langsman.

In much the same as the Lyre bird in Australia has developed the ability to imitate the sounds of the other birds that it hears in its local environment the Lyre Bird Installation allows the entrance space of the Perth Concert Hall to imitate other spaces.

Through a series of specially designed Soundscapes the entrance has been transformed into a number of interesting and dynamically interactive virtual spaces. These environments evolve and react in the same manner as the reality they mirror. Bees are agitated within the hive, lasers are fired within the Arcade and balls are thrown within the sports hall, all of which are in response to a visitor’s presence within the entrance way.

The installation has been constructed with the facility to allow new Soundscapes to be added at a later date making it flexible, dynamic and adaptable to the suggestions of the local public and sound artists alike. A large majority of the audio used was recorded within or around Perth, giving further meaning to the community in which the work resides.

The work is made interactive through the use of 16 infra red sensors, these are located either side of 8 speakers that run the length, left and right, of the entrance way to the concert hall. The sensors are attached to an interface connected to a Mac-Mini that is stationed within a concealed panel above the work. The sound samples and sound synthesis triggered by the system are controlled through use of the program Max/MSP and a small element of Java scripting.

In association with threshold: