Strange Folk Audio Installation Summary

Perhaps you saw my post in September just before Strange Folk Festival, with a little sneak preview of an installation there. Well now that a variety of dust has settled, here's a summary of the installation itself.

I wanted something that would add some mystery and excitement to the Myrkwood Path, a winding path through the trees in Layfayette Park. The six points we installed were all associated with trees, either hanging from a branch or tucked in to the roots along the ground, so I used a wide variety of wood-based sound sources, including wooden marimba, drum sticks, blast sticks, a set of wooden bongo drums, wood wind chimes, various tree recordings, and more. There's also a single layer of metal in there - pitch shifted handbells - that give it a little more sustain. These sounds were all heavily processed, mixed, and modified.

Then I built small trigger circuits (check out that earlier post) that we housed inside small custom-cut boxes. These were connected to lamp-like speakers, and everything was powered with a big order of AA batteries! The sounds would trigger only as visitors passed in front of the speaker / box combos, making the path come alive as you walked through.

Here are the sounds themselves, a few pictures, and an edited walk-through video of the setup before it was fully designed and made more beautiful by Autumn and her crew.

The first site, with signage, the speaker hanging above, and the trigger / circuit box decordated down on the ground.

The view from above!

Some visitors enjoying the final site.

Close ups of the gear itself, and the first (fully produced) site.

And finally the video - a bit shaky and low res but you get the idea. Again this is before it was set up to look as good as it sounds, but it gives a little idea of the experience of the installation.


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