Hailuoto Sound Art Camp Day Three


On the third day of the Hailuoto sound art camp we concentrated on exploring the Organum. The Organum is the acoustic sculpture by Lukas Kühne and it stands near the old harbour pier “Petsamon laituri”. The sculpture consists of three acoustic dome like spaces that are interlinked with each other and each one has its own fundamental resonances and acoustic characteristics. 

The Organum and Antti

We first tried exploring the acoustics with our own voices and it felt immediately natural to try to find the fundamental tones. It feels comforting when the space gives you back something. In a tonal way I felt good to stay in that tune that responded the best. But the organum had also a lot of higher frequencies because of the hard reflecting cement so all the crackling sound from walking and small rocks screeching on the cement were very loud. Perhaps the nicest effect was produced in the smallest room by softly speaking or whispering and hearing your own voice reflecting around you from the walls in a very intimate and immediate way. The direction of the voice was changed so that you could hear the voice of someone speaking to you from a different point than where the person was. I guess this kind of acoustics was used in older times to produce various acoustic effects for example the secret listening positions that in various old monasteries and chambers where you can listen to a conversation happening in a different room thru the reflections from the walls or the ceiling.

The Sonics of the Organum

After we had explored the space with our voices we then had a sonic intervention (an improvised collective sound piece) in the organum. Before going into it I had the urge to see some the surrounding nature and I walked towards the old broken pier. A number of birds took of making a lot noise when they spotted me. One of them was a huge sea eagle that took off from quite near me. It didn’t make any sound but was an impressive sight. When I got back the session was going strong and I got into it and we made the Organum alive with sound. Then we ate soy sausages and Antye Greye-Ripatti our teacher told us amazing stuff about her life career and activism.

Here is a short video about our session in Organum:

After the break I played a beautiful solo piece in the Organum. The sound material here is a recording played by me with my alto hurdy gurdy. In the Organum I played it processed with Melodyne software using the constant sound function which enables to stay in the same audio spot as long as I want making it a great drone tool. In a very simple way It feels like playing an instrument when I play a sound like this with it. The sound plays back thru Tivoli portable speaker and is recorded with a Zoom in the Organum. This is a very interesting and rewarding way to work and the result is sonically really rich and beautiful. This is something I will definitely want to more. Work with audio in the nature. This kind of playing will be part of my studio.

Text: Timo Viialainen