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Exhibitions ▸ 8 to the power

Artists: Harry Levene/Jon Pigrem

A sound piece has been created using techniques of spatialised sound:

  • Propagation of sound through space using stochastically derived diffusion based on probability distribution.
  • Creation of a textual drone modulating and evolving throughout space (spatial ambiophony). The drone is based on harmonic divisions of 512Hz, relating to the numerical value of the sigil form (83).

The piece uses our ability to differentiate and locate streams of audio information that guide us to a point of comprehension. It is psychoaccoustically designed to create overlapping pockets of sound, facilitated by our perception of sonic distance and frequency.

All the sounds are derived from original recordings, reciting translations of the same script in Bengali, Chinese, Turkish and German. Visitors to the sound installation can trace the source of the languages to each of four speakers. Will they gravitate towards a familiar sound in order to listen to the discussion in a “mother tongue”? The script comprises critical notes on the construction of the sigil what you give…”

The four languages represent (the) present-day local communities in Whitechapel and the east end of London which, by and large, have little contact with the world of contemporary art, though they exist side by side. The voices discuss the form of a design derived from the (ritual) language (Hebrew) of an earlier community, now largely dispersed; so that this becomes a work about migration, history and a connection with spirits. As well as the translators and voices including local residents, artists and participants include members of both secular and religious communities, Christian, Jewish and Muslim.

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