idea & realization: René Rissland & Florian Tuercke

performance: Eli Fieldsteel

The idea behind hERA TOuch LISTEN was to create an site-specific instrument directly from the architectonical structure of a building. The installation works with 8 contact-microphones and 8 contact-loudspeackers that were attached to the handrails of the 4-story open lobby of the Bass Concert Hall (University of Texas, Austin). Contact-microphones pick up the solid-borne sounds from any material, while contact-loudspeakers give the sonic vibrations directly to the structure they are attached to. By creating feedback-loops between microphones and loudspeakers, the natural resonance of the handrail could be manipulated at a control-station at the ground-level of the lobby. All sounds were created from the handrail and were replayed only through the handrail. There were no conventional loudspeakers involved.

The piece that was performed with this installation consisted of three parts that were going along with three different hearing positions the audience was asked to execute. First, the sounds coming from the handrail were strong enough to be heard in the space. The audience was just listening. In the second part, sub-sonic frequencies were used and the audience was asked to touch the handrail to perceive the physical vibrations. At third, sounds were played through the handrail, that could be heard via bone sounds-conduction. The audience was asked to place their elbows on the handrail while putting their hand to their ears.

hEAR TOuch LISTEN won the first price in the category "Music in Architecture" in the competition that was going along with the conference & festival "Music in Architecture - Architecture in Music" at the University of Texas, Austin TX (USA)