12
Jun
08

Ohm Force plug-ins at art installation in Edinburgh, Scotland

Magda, the Witchdoctor (Sowerby\'s installation)

We’re always very glad to see our plug-ins helping artits around the globe express theirselves, and we’re not talking just about musicians. Specially when it’s an independent artist, like Neil Sowerby – a plastic artist from Edinburgh – who added Ohm Force processed soundscapes to his last installation. It must have been great, since the pictures give us a fair preview of the ambiance and Sowerby’s explanation of his goals help us to try to feel as we used to be there:

“The art installation took place in April in an old warehouse in Edinburgh.  The concept was to build a trans-dimensional fairground, visible for only a few nights, that people could walk around, get equally scared and amazed and see some wonderful curiosities.

With one large room devoted to a Discotheque From Hell, the other was divided into zones such as Air, Dreams, Forest and Purgatory.  Around 12 different sound systems of varying size were installed: hidden behind scenery, in cupboards and hanging from the ceiling.  The aim was to make each zone unique in terms of soundtrack but also to allow the inevitable bleed between zones to be pleasant and in key… (continues, with some more text and several more pictures…)

I used OhmBoyz almost everywhere, for dub delays in the disco room and spacey effects in Air’s ambient, glitchy soundscape.  Purgatory featured ringing telephones that when picked up would frighten visitors with sounds of giggling clowns wielding chainsaws.  Forest, however, was a live performance using a Powerbook running Ableton Live and recordings of insects, animals and rainstorms sent to individual speakers in all four corners of the room.  A chant and percussion loop from a New York disco record gave visitors some focus as they moved around the zone.

Why live?  Well, residing in the Forest zone was Magda the Witchdoctor, who would host a live percussion jam and offer masks to the audience.  When the masks were on and the jam underway, UV light would reveal patterns on the trees and a combination of OhmBoyz LPF delay and Mobilohm warped the entire ambient soundscape into a psychedelic whirlwind.  Lewis, operating the Powerbook and dressed as a rabbit, was able to trigger these events along with dozens of audio clips as he felt the audience and experience demanded.

I used Ohm Force effects as they not only offer a dramatic and extreme level of sound mangling but also have a nice warm, organic quality.  Musical, if you like, like my favourite guitar pedals.  With all that noise going on around the building it was important to keep each sound unique yet also tie the whole thing together – using the same kind of delay for each area, with subtle differences from room to room, really helped achieve this.

Lewis Elliot - sound operator (Sowerby\'s installation)

Forest zone entrance (Sowerby\'s installation)

Forest zone (Sowerby\'s installation)

Magda, the Witchdoctor (Sowerby\'s installation)

Magda, the Witchdoctor (Sowerby\'s installation)

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