New audio installation for Strange Folk Festival

Here at Hugmonster Sound we're all about making things sound great - and we're always exploring new and interesting ways to do that. Usually the "things" we make sound great are spots, or movies, or TV shows. With the addition of Sonic Branding services, we're creating whole new Things based entirely on sound - ringtones, microsites, apps.

But what if the Thing is an event? A park? A path? A tree?

Recently I reached out to my friend Autumn Wiggins who runs Strange Folk Festival, to see if there were some ways to add sound to this year's event, happening THIS WEEKEND in Lafayette Square. While I don't want to give too much away, here's a little peek, and a little background on the installation.

Autumn is closing several streets in the neighborhood, and was planning to decorate / enhance / theme / curate a path through Lafayette Square Park itself that cuts along the side of the festival. We decided that it would be fun to bring some sonic elements to this path, to give people a reason to keep exploring and investigating. She's named it Mirkwood Path, after a forest from Middle Earth, and so we're giving the trees a voice as you walk through the park.

Once I had the sounds (you'll have to wait till this weekend to hear those!) established, it was time to get soldering.

After several installations at the Magic House, I've gotten quite familiar with these simple little chips (on the left and top of the pictures above) that hold a small amount of audio, and can be triggered in lots of different ways. There's always a fair amount of experimenting with new sensors and new triggers, but I got these tuned just right, so that the trees will come alive as you pass by them.

We built these beautiful little houses (cut on Autumn's awesome new laser cutter and painted with sugar paint!) to disguise the sensors and the gear, and will have them scattered along the path.

The sounds I created aren't so much musical as they are progressive, evolving and developing as you encounter each new sound. So the placement and location of the boxes and the speakers do the same thing - they hide and hang and create a bit of a hunt.

After finding the right speaker, buying lots (LOTS!) of batteries, and tweaking all the details inside those boxes, it was time for a test. We got at least three walkers in Tower Grove Park interested / scared / curious about the installation with our test!

So now the gear is off for final decoration, and we'll be in the right park on Friday setting up. We can't wait for you to enjoy this installation, and look forward to hearing your thoughts!

See you this weekend in Lafayette Square!

-Adam


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