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Chamberlain says “The idea of recording this defunct out of date technology relates with my current interests and proved to be a tough technical exercise capturing the form and surface quality of the dishes.”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

“Poetically succinct diorama of the ambiguous spaces that we live in today”

After learning about the existence of these curiously primitive and imposing pieces of outdated surveillance equipment, which are still standing along stretches of England’s coast, artist Tim Bruniges recreated these interactive objects in a gallery setting. Earlier this year [2014], in an exhibition called MIRRORS at Brooklyn’s Signal gallery, Bruniges installed a pair of 9 by 9 foot sound mirrors that he constructed from wood and concrete with microphones embedded in their center. The sculptures faced each other to create an interactive sound experience for visitors to the cavernous gallery space.

More: Sound Mirrors Echo Obsolete Military Technology as Art Installation, Andrew Salomone, Makezine, 28 August 2014.

Syd Arthur’s Sound Mirror

The second album from Canterbury psych-rock quartet Syd Arthur is called Sound Mirror, and features the Abbot’s Cliff acoustic mirror on its cover.

Sound Mirror album by Syd Arthur

“From the tantalizing ‘Garden Of Time’ to the prophetic ‘Sink Hole,’ ‘Sound Mirror’ expands and refines Syd Arthur’s already uncommon sonic multiverse into a brave new space where focus and concision is as essential as freewheeling abstraction and genre-shattering creativity”, apparently.

Sound Mirror will be released through Harvest Records on 2 June 2014.

Nicki Minaj at the Denge sound mirrors

I seem to have missed this when it first came out in November 2012. Nick Minaj shoots music video in Kent!, says Kent Film Office.

According to Wikipedia, “”Freedom” is a downtempo hip hop and R&B song that features a “sonically breezy” soundscape, complied with ambient riffs, pop-inspired synths, and soft pop choruses.”1

According to Director Colin Tilley:

Fun fact#2… the wall we are standing next too thats super curved was an old sound satellite they built back in the day that was supposed to receive messages from England to Paris…. kinda awesome. If you stand on one end and whisper the person on the other end can hear as if you are next to each other…2

I think there is a little bit of confusion there!

  1. Freedom (Nicki Minaj song), Wikipedia, accessed 24 February 2014
  2. Director Colin Tilley on Nicki Minaj “Freedom”, Steven Gottlieb, Video Static, 27 November 2012

Listening Stones

199.365.02

Listening Stones, St. Vrain Greenway, Longmont, Colorado

Granite river boulders, wood, flagstone. 1997.

This sculpture uses a parabolic sound mirror carved into boulders to dramatically magnify the sound of a nearby stream for listeners. It is inspired by satellite dishes, the seating in choir lofts where curved walls reflect sound and the antique hand-held sound magnifiers used in the days before hearing aids. The concept of sound reflection has been known for centuries, such as at the Whispering Wall in China. … Now, parabolic sound mirrors are found at children’s playgrounds and in dish microphones at sporting events. The creative aspects of this sculpture are threefold […more at Robert Tully Artworks]

Sound mirror radio drama

Early Warning

A thriller by Richard Monks

Taking refuge in a subterranean bunker under a ‘Sound Mirror’ Ella hears a horrific sound. Ella believes she is a witness to a brutal murder. But her evidence is dismissed as unreliable when the police learn that she is deaf. Ella’s fight to be heard forces her to take action, putting her own life in danger.

Source: BBC Radio 3