Low-intrusiveness sound design for L&L

This is the stand designed by Traverso-Vighy architects for L&L (Italian brand of lighting systems), in occasion of the Light + Building 2018 trade fair.

For this project I created a low-intrusiveness soundscape, experimenting on convergences with the features of the lights design. Our goal was to create a peaceful space, an oasis of tranquillity in the usually chaotic ambience of trade fairs : the semi-closed design of the space gives a feeling of privacy, while the semi-transparent nature of some of its elements prevents a sense of claustrophobic separation. We wanted to avoid the use of background music, which adds up to the general sonic confusion of a trade fair soundscape and, in the long run, fatigues the attention processes of the people working in the stand. We decided to use only concrete sounds (field recordings + procedural audio made with MaxMSP) and to articulate them following a structure of breathing cycles.

(photos by Giovanni Traverso)

There are two cycles. The fast one repeats at 8,5 seconds intervals, the slow one at 1 minute intervals. The faster cycle functions almost like a LFO modulation of the overall amplitude. The slower cycle controls the long cross-fading between audio materials. The lights works in the same way for each RGB channel : the fast cycle controls the relative fades, whose actual boundaries are set by the slow circle. A MaxMSP patch sends a sync signal to the lights controllers, every 3 minutes. The loudspeakers are hidden in the architecture, and it is almost impossible to locate them acoustically; the sounds are diffused at very low amplitudes, which makes the installation very fragile acoustically (a change in number of visitors can make the sounds almost disappear).

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