Aviary

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SOUND INSTALLATION

HEADLANDS CENTER FOR THE ARTS, SAUSALITO, CALIFORNIA 1990


“AVIARY” was located in Headlands Center for the Arts Building 944 attic.  One walked up a steep stairway to a door labeled “Aviary”.  Upon entering, one encountered a room of rippling, blue fabric.  In the middle of the space was a chair facing open windo
ws.  A PZM microphone was mounted to the front face of the building, utilizing the exterior wall as a sound board.  The signal in the microphone was channeled through two 36 channel equalizers and then to a digital sound processor.  The sound was amplified through two speakers mounted front and rear of the chair in the exposed roof rafters. The equalizers combed the sound field up to the frequencies of bird calls.  This signal was channeled through the room in a slowly diminishing circular echo that seemingly allowed these bird calls to circle the head of the listener. The effect was most startling early mornings and late evenings as the birds nested and swarmed in the trees opposite the building.  During the day, the sound was much more occasional and muted, allowing the listener to concentrate on the silences between the staccato bursts of birds that occupied the room.
 
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