Create Your Own Sound Art

Sound Art is art which uses sound to make works that you can listen to. We are going to listen to sound and use it to make a drawing or a recording. But first let’s look at different artists who used sound in their artwork at The Model.

Torsten Lauschmann, War of the Corners, 2018. Photo credit: McAteer Photo

Torsten Lauschmann, War of the Corners, 2018. Photo credit: McAteer Photo

Here is an artwork by artist Torsten Lauschmann which was shown at The Model. He uses musical instruments in his art and fills the gallery with lots of different sounds, like the sculpture in the photograph.

And here is a giant artwork by artist Suzanne Winterling which filled the whole gallery too. The sounds you hear in this work are not human. They are the sounds of sea turtles hatching, crabs and tiny little microscopic creatures, which you can hear in the video clip. What do you think they might sound like?

A recorded segment of the installation: Susanne M. Winterling, planetary loop of gravitation, 2018. 4K projection mapping. planetary opera in three acts, divided by the currents, 2018. 12 channel sound installation. 

Karen Power (IE), Photo credit: John Godfrey

Karen Power (IE), Photo credit: John Godfrey

And here is the Irish composer Karen Power who collects sounds from nature to make her art. Do you recognise the forest she is in? She collected sounds from under the sea and around the Sligo coastline for her exhibition at The Model.

Now listen to the sounds she has made from the sea.

An excerpt from no mans land (2020) by Karen Power, for voice, quadraphonic sea + live electronics, Duration: 25’00’’
Commissioned by The Model on the occasion of The Sea Around Us

Where do you think they came from?
Can you hear the sound of a human voice?
How does it make you feel?
Do you think she sounds like the sea or a sea creature?

Activity 1: Make your Own Sound Drawing/Painting

As we have seen artists use sound in different ways to create art. Your challenge is to make a drawing of a creature inspired by the sounds you hear in Karen Power’s sound art.

What you will need

Pencils, Markers, Paints, Crayons, Coloured Paper or Plain Paper

Close your eyes and listen to the sounds carefully. Pick out a sound and imagine what kind of creature would make that sound.

An excerpt from no mans land (2020) by Karen Power, for voice, quadraphonic sea + live electronics, Duration: 25’00’’
Commissioned by The Model on the occasion of The Sea Around Us

The most important thing is to use your imagination to draw a creature that would make the sounds you hear in the recording.

Activity 2: Make your own Sound Art

You are going to record and make your own sound art.

What you will need

Tablet/Smart Phone, Pens and pencils, Paper

 

Download a sound recording or looping app. Make sure you ask a parent or guardian before downloading. To get started close your eyes and listen to all the sounds around you – the loud ones and the quiet ones – a sizzling pan, kettle boiling, eggs cracking, footsteps, radio, TV, human sounds like laughing, whispering, shouting, tapping or animal sounds like barking. Try listening to outdoor sounds too – like the wind in the trees.

Record Your own voice:

Now try creating sounds with your own voice. Make a sound from the back of your throat. It should make a growl sound. Now try to makes sound through your lips and tongue and teeth, like maa or baa.  

 

How to Make A Sound Art Work:

Now that you have explored and created lots of different sounds, choose the ones that you like most. Experiment with how you want to record the sounds – fast, slow, quiet or loud. Use the app to record the sounds and loop them together. Ask your family or friends to help.

Listen back to the recording with your eyes closed. How does it make you feel when you listen to it?
You can keep recording the sounds in different ways until you get the sound piece you like best.

 

Make a Title for your Artwork:

When naming your work, you can make it really creative by thinking about the words you use. Here are a few fun words to describe watery sounds:

Word Play: Think about the type of sounds you recorded and find words to describe them best. You could even invent a new word like Bribble or F l o o s s h h h.

Ask a parent or guardian to share your work with us, with your name and age. Don’t forget to include the title. We will post your sound art on our website and Instagram account @modelsligo / #themodelinsideout 🙂

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