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Category Archives: sound installation


Modulate were invited to spend a week at SONM in Murcia, Spain – a new Centre for  Sound Art and Experimental Music curated by Francisco Lopez. Here we gave a presentation, performed a concert, and showcased a new  installation , the “Modulate Octophonic Loop System” ,  an 8.1 sound installation developed by Bobby Bird exploring new ways to present Modulate’s unique sound, which remained exhibited at SONM after we left.

Stereo excerpt from The Modulate Octophonic Loop System

More images from SONM 

Excerpt from our live AV concert 

New work was developed by Modulate with support from Arts Council England

Another in our occasional series of  Sonic Culture Salons, Modulate presents ” Lago de Mamori : An Aural Environment by Annie Mahtani”.

Annie was a participant of our Birmingham Sound Matter project with
Francisco Lopez last year, after which she successfully applied for a
sound artist residency at Mamori Arts lab in the Brazilian Rainforest,
a yearly residency directed by Francisco. Annie will present field recordings from the Brazilian Amazon in the form of a 16-channel sound installation. She will also speak about her experience in residence at Mamori Art Lab and engage the audience in an open discussion around the recordings and possibilities for future development of this work-in-progress.

Date: Saturday 9/01/2010
Location:The Gallery Space, Custard Factory Digeth
Time:  1-2.pm Sound Installation playback
2-3.pm Presentation / discussion
3-4pm Sound Installation playback (repeat)
4-5p.m Sound Installation playback (repeat)

Cost: Free

Feel free to drop in and out at any time, although to experience the
full hour of field recordings / and for the talk, arrive on the hour.
Refreshments will be provided

Supported by  Arts Council England / Modulate / Mamori Arts Lab / BEAST

Modulate Sonic Circle at Shambala 09

sonic circle

More images on flickr

For the woodland area at Shambala Festival 2009, Modulate continued to expandand and develop upon previous years multiple speaker sound installations, creating a larger version of the Sonic Circle , using a custom 10.2 rig flown in the trees comprising of 10 xNexo PS 8s,  plus a larger stereo system based on the ground,  with a smaller 10.2 monitoring system inside our Yurt control center.

With the 10.2 system, the stereo signal can be filtered & panned around the 10 speakers in different directions or in a random panning mode, the stereo system on the ground can receive the full frequency spectrum or be used as the sub for the 10 surround speakers, also effects can be added & these can be filtered & panned independently to the stereo signal. the idea is to create a moving stereo sound stage in which the system can be constantly tweaked or tuned to work with different tracks or soundscapes …. but you would really need to hear it to get the full idea!

This year, instead of the circle being visually defined by small led’s
inside the speakers, we had 40 x 1000 liter IBC containers with DMX controlled luminares inside.   Recycled IBC containers have been used by other artists to create various lighting installations, one of the better known being Modularbeat‘s Kubik installation / portable outdoor club, which has appeared in major urban spaces across Europe. However after we were asked by  Shambala  if we could incorporate the use of similar containers into the Modulate space, we thought it would be fun to try a new take on the idea, translated from an urban space into a woodland glade.

Having previously designed a number of light and sound installations using Max/MSP, multi-speaker sound systems & DMX controlled lighting within fiberglass orbs & light sticks, programmer and sound designer Bobby Bird found it a relatively smooth process to translate similar software design to the cubes, while David Checkley,  technical support,  sourced materials and pulled together a great team of able & willing assistants to build the installation on site.

Aside from the Sonic Circle and the cubes, we projected live quartz
animations onto a circular screen, laser projections onto the tree canopy, UV canvases on trees, a chilled fog machine, plus electronic sounds flying in all directions, selected all over the three nights by Mark Bunegar & Bobby Bird (Modulate).

As well as original material, some of the artists / labels played included Raster Notion: Alva Noto, Senking, Pixel, Nibo, Ryoji Ikeda, Kangding Ray, Komet, Stephan Mathieu, BJ Nilsen, Fluxion, Robert Henke / Monolake, Gerhard Behles, Frank Bretschneider + Steinbruchel, Robert Hampson, Klovn, Atom TM, Deep Chord, Hem, Autechre, Shuttle 358, Tetsu Inoue, Helena Gough, Fennesz, Rhythm and Sound, Trente Moller, Pole, Vladislav Delay, Coh, Main, Weiland Samolak, Loscil, EU, Smyglyssna, Signal, Biosphere, Sutekh, Gramm, Masters of Psychedelic Ambience, EU, Bretschneider + Dupree , Atom TMBurnt Friedman.

The Modulate team this year :

Bobby Bird: sounds +  sound design, Max/MSP programming and concept for the Sonic
Circle,  programing for the light cubes.
Dave Checkley : production manager
+ his team of helpers,  Cloe, Ant, and Bob
Liam: all round help & sound tech install
Mark Bunegar : sound selection and graphics
Sean Clark Cuttlefish : laser projections
Joseph Potts: UV canvas
Scylla : live quartz projections
Mark Harris: quartz composer programing
Dowd: professional tree climber , & Denise
Martin Vernan & Kika: mission transportation

still3

More images on flickr

Bobby Bird will be exhibiting a newly commisioned sound installation at The Herbert Gallery in Coventry as part of A Thing About Machines, Festival Fri 19th – Sun 21st September. 

“Purpose Built” is a multiple speaker sound installation, using as
source material location recordings made at LTI, one of the last
outposts of manufacturing in Coventry, where Black Cabs are still
being hand built. The piece will be both a sonic re interpretation of
the process of manufacturing, and an exploration of sound as a
by-product of the manufacturing process.

Bobby Bird is a musician and sound artist. In the 90’s he released
experimental electronic music albums as the Higher Intelligence
Agency, while in recent years he has also been designing site specific
sound and light installations, and is currently a member of audio
visual collective Modulate.

Also at the Herbert will be a new sound installation ‘Re: Construction” by Cormac Faulkner, , and Kinopixel  a screen based installation curated by Darryl Georgiou

Venues:The Herbert : Jordan Well, Coventry, CV1 5QP, UK 
Late Opening Fri 10.00 -21.00 /Sat 10.00 – 5.30 Sun 12.00-5.30

Inspire Cafe Bar: Christchurch Spire New Union St, Coventry, CV1 2PS