Project: Tulane Architecture Weekend
Location: Tulane Campus, New Orleans, LA
Date: Weekend of January 16th, 2015
Airlift was honored to be invited to participate in Tulane's Architecture Weekend in January, 2014. Architecture Weekend is hosted by the Architecture Student Government and each year, a handful of architects lead various projects, each with a different focus. This year Airlift was joined by Brooklyn Design Firm, Matter; and California based Faulders Studio.
Architect Michael Glenboski and Tulane Professor of Music Technology Rick Snow led the project. Working with Airlift staff, Michael and Rick developed a flexible system of telescoping hinges to create modular enclosures and frames for hanging 12 metallic sheets of copper and steel. Rick worked with students to map over 720 resonant frequencies from these sheets and develop a custom synthesizer routing audio signals to the sheets. Transducers (essentially the magnetic portion of a speaker) placed on each sheet of metal resonated vocals, percussion and other sounds within the enclosures. The reverberation from sheet to sheet created a highly controlled and surprisingly dense area of sound. The Audience was able to manipulate the type, intensity, and locations of the sounds across the installation through hand tracking software. As luck would have it one of the architecture students, Haley Lindsley, is a classically trained Opera singer. She surprised us with an impromptu concert at the end of the weekend making the sheets of metal reverberate so strongly that it felt like you were in a concert hall when you closed your eyes.
Rick has taken this project further by bringing his Music Technology class in after A-Weekend and further refined the sound control systems. This project will be included in Airlift's Roving Village Residency in March, 2015.