DOME (collaboration)

 

DOME is an installation produced in collaboration with sound designer Dr Pete Batchelor (Music, Technology & Innovation Research Centre, De Montfort University). Structurally it consists simply of a geodesic sphere containing 40 speakers, which together present a realistic 3D sound experience (more information can be found here). Different sound environments presented within the dome, and different contexts in which it is presented, invite different 'skins' for the structure. My aim was to make the dome sculpturally beautiful and eye-catching, to encourage members of the public to explore it. 

 

Various outings for the dome are shown below. 

White Dome ('Viral')

Stucture covered in textured pure white fabric, with 'webbing' between the triangles to increase the sense of enclosure while leaving the dome open to sounds from outside. White tendrils connected the structure to the surrounding walls and floor. The resemblance to a virus was not lost on us, and was equally conveyed through the organic, watery sounds that played over the surface of the sphere.

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Presented as part of Loss & Gain (Assisting Hearing; Expanding Listening)——an installation focusing on hearing loss by Ximena Alarcon, Peter Batchelor, Ian Bilson and Lorenzo Picinalli——in the Cube gallery, Phoenix Square, Leicester, 3-11 May 2014.

(Photo © De Montfort University)

Presented at the CURVE Thueatre, Leicester during the Make||Sound Festival, 6-13 June 2015

(photos by Pamela Raith)

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Presented at the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki, Finland during the VOLUME Festival, 1-3 November 2015

(Photos by Peter Batchelor)

Willow Dome ('Beyond')

For this version, hazel and willow sticks were used to construct the sphere itself. Willow rods were then woven between these, and moss used to cover the speakers, such that the structure mirrored a coppiced willow tree which stood nearby. The chair was chosen to suggest a scarlet cup fungus

Natural environmental sounds (rain and birdsong) played over the surface so that it became ambiguous whether the sounds came from the dome itself or beyond.

Read a review here.

Presented in Chancellor's Court, University of Birmingham at BEAST FEaST, a conference run by the Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre, 30 April-2 May 2015.

(Photos by Steve Benner)

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Fire Dome

Located in a former PowerPlay store in a Leicester's Highcross shopping mall, the dome for this project needed to be visually both striking and appealing to encourage members of the public to investigate it. The structure was covered in coloured cellophane, and plastic strip curtains in red and yellow were meticulously cut to make flames. Roaring bonfires, crackling embers and fireworks contributed to the sound materials played over the multiple speakers. 

Presented at the Highcross Shopping Centre, Leicester during the Make||Sound Festival, 6-13 June 2015

(photos by Peter Batchelor, Jesse Nandra and Sean Clark)

© 2018 by Ian Bilson

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