Sounding Site

2010 | site-specific installation | La Tabacalera, Madrid
8 channel audio, tactile transducers, found objects and structures, light | 40′
collaboration with Juan Cantizzani

Sounding Site [Tabacalera] is a site-specific sonic environment created for the basements of the former national tobacco factory in Madrid. The location features several joined areas and still conserves largely its architecture and remnants from original activity in the factory.

A multichannel composition activates and renders audible the site, creating an immersive experience based on the exploration of aural, spatial and material aspects specific to the location. Visitors are invited to be imbued in the physicality of the sound and its perception in relationship to their own placement within the sounding space.

The source sonic materials consist of acoustic measurements of the empty space and transformed recordings made on location using different techniques (air, solid vibration and ultrasound). The installation is based on a custom made diffusion system consisting of hidden tactile transducers coupled to objects and structures found in-situ, enhancing the impression of sound emanating from the space itself.

The documentation features a sequence of audio excerpts taken from a recording of the piece within the space using a binaural technique. It is recommended listening on good quality headphones.

There is also available a video documentation featuring a non-synchronised montage of audio excerpts with static shots of the location.

An interview about the project was published in the Spanish magazine Ursonate #02, March 2012 (download pdf).

Acknowledgments: Manuel Calurano, Jose Luis Espejo, Cisco Espinar, David GF, Miguel Lastra, Abraham Rivera and El Keller.

Comment received from The New School in New York following a showcase of the documentation of the work in 2012:

“I think that this process of merging and mystery is what I find so exciting right now about sound only installations. Perhaps because we live in such a media drenched environment, I am often thinking and critiquing, full of internal barriers and suspicion around the motivations and implications behind a piece. I implicitly trusted Cantizzani and Sanz. The piece drew me out of myself and into the space. I felt a deeper connection to corporeality through sound. The spare visuals of the space gave me permission to feel something new”.