Testing Ground (2006, Zaal België, Hasselt, Belgium, Festival van Vlaanderen Kortrijk Belgium 2011)

(click here for video) Here for Testing Ground in Kortrijk

(click here for test run and behind-the-scene pictures)

Testing Ground is a model, issuing the relation between concepts of architecture, acoustics and sound. The setup is remotely similar to a pop concert-situation, the way the audience is regarded as a standing group of people. Only this time, there’s not one focus (to a performing band, for instance), but several undefined ones.

First, the audience enters a space of around 80 square meters. Two rails, consisting of 3 loudspeakers each, are supported by tripods. These speakers are aimed towards the ceiling from above ear level. This way, the mid- and high pitched sounds are audible as a reflection against the ceiling.

The electro-acoustic music is composed on a virtual modular system, designed to play eight different looping electronic sound bits. Each sound is assigned to one of the six high-power speakers through a programmed sequencer; the ‘route’ each individual sound-bit follows from speaker to speaker into space, is predetermined in the program this way. Except from the fact the music is a time based composition, the audience is able to hear different emphasis on rhythm and colour by walking around or choosing other standing positions.

During the twenty minutes of this time-based installation the room changes; the ceiling drops very slowly from four- to two meters. The reflections of sounds changes, the acoustic behaviour of the space changes, and the individual space of each person in the audience changes as well.

photography: Lieve Apers, Alexa Meijerman