“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After learning about the existence of these curiously primitive and imposing pieces of outdated surveillance equipment, which are still standing along stretches of England’s coast, artist Tim Bruniges recreated these interactive objects in a gallery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

Popular beat combos at the Denge sound mirrors

Rock Atlas book front cover

The Denge sound mirrors have proved to be a popular location for music videos and associated photo shoots, and are included in a new book called Rock Atlas, by David Roberts.

The author has got in touch to tell me that: The 304-page, full-colour guide book includes 689 fascinating British and Irish music locations and the stories behind them. Written and researched by former Guinness Book of British Hit Singles & Albums editor David Roberts, the book provides instructions on how to find each place of Rock and Pop pilgrimage, plus extensive lists of the birthplaces of every major musician.

The sound mirrors entry says:

The Dungeness coastal landscape is shaped by the strange architectural splendour of the sound mirrors that are featured as cover artwork on Turin Brakes’ Ether Song album and hit single ‘Long Distance’. Constructed as a Royal Air Force early warning system for incoming aircraft, the Denge mirrors are often referred to as ‘Listening Ears’ and have also featured in The Prodigy video for ‘Invaders Must Die’ and Blank & Jones‘ Monument album cover and video for ‘A Forest’.

LOCATION 147: between Lydd-on-Sea and Greatstone-on-Sea. Postcode: TN29 9NL. Access with guided walks. www.andrewgrantham.co.uk/soundmirrors

Colne Valley listeners

A sound mirror installation neat Slaithwaite in Yorkshire. Some pictures of it.

Commissioned by the River Colne Sculpture Trail and Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival

A Sound Installation by Matthew Sansom

About

Colne Valley Listeners employs active listening, both as metaphor and as practice, to explore and enhance the relationship between the valley’s beauty and significance with people past, present and future. The project combines a sculptural installation of two acoustic mirrors at the Rotcher Picnic Site and a guided soundwalk with accompanying audio.

The River Colne Acoustic Mirrors are parabolic dishes fashioned in aluminium: one dish eavesdrops on the approach from the picnic site and the other listens out towards the trees and across the valley. Close-up, these devices focus and subtly amplify the soundscape at a focal point a short distance from the centre of the dish. Interaction with the acoustic mirrors helps direct awareness towards the surrounding soundscape, leaving a subtle perceptual imprint on the listener.

The River Colne Soundwalk explores the location of the sculptural installation. It combines material from local children’s sonic explorations of the area, sound archive material and location recordings made along the walk.