Abbot’s Cliff sound mirror art review

Abbot’s Cliff Sound Mirror – Strait of Dover is a picture of a “sound mirror” built during the World War II era for the purpose of amplifying the noise of approaching aircraft. […] Beam’s camera translates light and shadow into a negative, and then a print, the sound mirror takes what is unheard out of thin air and translates it to something we can hear. The old Zen question about the tree falling in the woods is meditative, but it is also scientific: If there is no one around to hear it, it definitively does not make a sound. Similarly, if there is no eye, there is no image.

The effectiveness of Beam’s pursuit is deepened by Section of Abbot’s Cliff Sound Mirror, prints made from charcoal rubbings of the stone mirror itself. […]
Source: “Robert Collier Beam: Scry” at Pump Project, The Austin Chronicle, 26 May 2017.

Covenant names new single Sound Mirrors

Covenant single Sound Mirrors

Swedish band Covenant has announced that its new single to be released on 26 August 2016 will be called ‘Sound Mirrors’. Music publisher Dependent says:

Covenant’s new single ‚Sound Mirrors’ gives us a first impression of their forthcoming album “The Blinding Dark”. For the first time ever, the Swedes address distinctly topical events in world politics: the refugee crisis with its accompanying hysteria and the anxiety about the future of a European continent that looks forward into uncertainty.

Sound Mirrors were acoustic mirrors that looked like giant stone ears, placed along the Englisch coast between 1916 and 1930 in order warn of approaching planes or war ships. Their elliptical shape bundled acoustic signals, and they were considered to be both technological and constructional masterpieces. Faster planes and especially the invention of radar made sound mirrors obsolete later on, so today, they are merely stone witnesses of bygone times along the southern and north-eastern coasts of England. The reference tot he refugee crisis and creeping radicalisation of Europe becomes particularly obvious when hearing Covenant’s lyrics for the corresponding song.

Musically, the band does not miss out on anything, delivering a club smasher that harks back to single classics such as ‚Stalker’ or ‚Last Dance’. While unusual splashes of colour enhance the overall picture, ‚Sound Mirrors’ is bound to become an enduring earworm that will soon set dancefloors aflame.

Band member Joakim Montelius wrote on the band’s Facebook page on 25 June 2016:

I was reading an article about this British pre-WWII project for early warning from attacks across the Channel, called Sound Mirrors. They were designed to amplify incoming sound from enemy aircraft enough to allow the defence to take them out before they could pose a serious threat. It was an elaborate and ingenious design, expensive as well, and it was rendered obsolete by the advent of radar.

My reading coincided with the refugee situation in Europe. The fact that we all knew about the reasons for it since years, without doing anything to help, made me think of this pattern. How we, humans in general, do everything in our power to try and predict future threats. That ability to anticipate possible scenarios is of course key to our survival, from an evolutionary point of view. [More…]

Sound mirror art at the Royal Academy

Two pictures of the 30 foot sound mirror at Denge by Ian Chamberlain are included in the Royal Academy summer exhibition.

Chamberlain says “The idea of recording this defunct out of date technology relates with my current interests and proved to be a tough technical exercise capturing the form and surface quality of the dishes.”

Aqulio music video with the Abbot’s Cliff sound mirror

Aquilo EP Human

Lancashire duo Aquilo‘s EP “Human” released on 8 December 2014 features the Abbot’s Cliff sound mirror (and other locations around Folkestone) in two videos.

The song is “based around the idea of a delicate relationship that was slowly coming to an end and eventually finding a solace in the fact it had ended”, according to an article at Pigeons and Planes. It’s perhaps not the most cheerful ditty, but does have a sound mirror.

I Gave It All

Losing You

The videos were directed by Eoin Glaister and filmed in November. Make up artist Anna Inglis Hall tweeted this picture:

Last year psych-rock quartet Syd Arthur featured the Abbot’s Cliff mirror on the cover of their album, “Sound Mirror.