Work by award-winning natural history sound recordist (and Cabaret Voltaire co-founder) Chris Watson was featured in a recent exhibition at Newlyn Art Gallery, Penzance, Cornwall, reports David Davies.
For his latest project, Watson collaborated with acclaimed sculptor and ceramicist Phoebe Cummings. Blending sound and sculpture, ‘Down There Among the Roots’ highlighted aspects of geographical landscapes that are frequently overlooked – thereby drawing audience members’ attention to the hidden beauty around them.
To relay sound, Watson selected Source Distribution-supplied Genelec 8020B active two-way monitors, which were installed throughout the multi-level exhibition space. On the lower floor, the Genelecs projected the sound of subterranean telegraph wires; elsewhere, an isolated dark room complemented a Cummings-devised miniature landscape with atmospheric background music from Watson.
“The challenge for us at Newlyn was to guarantee clarity and quality of audio while minimising visual impact on the installation,” said Source Distribution’s Genelec product specialist, Steve Fisher, who took an active role in the installation. “From the start, it was clear this was an art exhibition, not a concert, and most definitely not a muzak install! The sound is an integral part of the art work, so the equipment needed to perform in a way that enhances the experience and not detract from it. The 8020Bs are the perfect fit. The size and colour of the monitors makes them blend into the background and the quality of audio reproduction is clean, focused and true to the original recordings.”