“For oral cultures, the cosmos is an ongoing event with man at its centre.
Man is the «umbilicus mundi», the navel of the world.” ~ Walter Ong
It’s thought provoking that this sense in the contemporary world, the sense of centre is attributed to the disappearance of the integrity of the audible world.
Spaces especially those with heritage or historic value can be conserved through their unique acoustic signatures and reproduced in time and space.
Acoustic signatures – Sound as a medium of historical conservation
Every space has its unique acoustic properties because of the combination of its dimensions, architectural design and use of construction materials. Time over centuries has enriched and created an invigorating experience of space which now is part of our heritage; all our sensory realms have fused into this memorable image of space.
Acoustic experiences reinforce and enrich this image. Experiencing a backdoor where the past presents itself, not as historical data or art, but as experience. Over time, all enduring historical spaces recorded in various media will witness losses of context and content. At the outer edges of this information loss is acoustic data.
Exploring conservation of heritage spaces through their unique acoustic signatures and recreating their aural experiences, both in the real and virtual world.
Process – Capturing Acoustic Signatures / Building an Archive of Heritage Experiences
To measure and capture acoustic signatures, a simple setup of a loudspeaker, microphone and a computer are deployed. An impulse is created as a test signal which is generated using the computer and the loud-speaker. The test signal is recorded using a microphone but since the recording is captured inside an architectural space, the captured signal contains its unique acoustic information.
A custom-made binaural microphone, «Kaan» (Hindi for ‘Ear’) and the generation/capture/analysis software are completely self designed to produce and archive acoustic signatures.
Web Experience of Archives
A web based sound experiment where as you scroll through the page the sound would morph into the spaces you are navigating through. Something like travel through time in sound and spaces. Below are list of some archives hosted at the moment more to come soon.
Acoustic Signatures – Project 2022
An ongoing project since 2016.
After 3 years of random data acquisition all over India. Now the focus is on South-Central India, specially spaces built during Hoysala, Chalukya and kalachuri dynasty. By 2022 all the pinned spaces below would be archived.