Re-Interpretação Urbana


2014 - Casa de Serralves

40 hours Sound Installation

in collaboration with Filipe Lopes

Work curated by Sonoscopia Associação Cultural for Serralves em Festa 2014



Re-interpretação Urbana (Urban Re-interpretation) is a sound installation which inhabited the chapel during the Serralves em Festa 2014. This work was commissioned by the Serralves em Festa 2014 Festival, the biggest contemporary artistic expression festival in Portugal and one of the largest in Europe, and the Sonoscopia Associação Cultural.

This sound installation marks one year of the first Urb’s listening point installation allowing for the first time an approach with a time window of one year.

The context of this festival is very particular. Although it is a festival with a contemporary and experimental aesthetic is an 40 hours non stop event with a major impact on the general public, being visited by thousands of people in a very small amount of time. The space chosen for the intervention was a big white room in the second floor of the Serralves chapel illuminated by a huge round window.

According to the physical and symbolic space the authors decided to develop a contemplative sound experience, promoted through an immersive soundscape that mirrors the sonic complexity of the city, particularly their behaviors and patterns, also exploring the room acoustics.

Being an event with big impact in the city, thus creating a specific soundscape on those days, it seemed promising to use the material of the exactly same days of the festival of the year before. The public experienced an artistic sonification of the city from exactly the same time of the previous year. The process used was exactly the same used in the music piece L’abre des Songes . Although in L’abre des Songes  all the information was compressed to 6 minute, in this case the time lapse was fully respected, which represents a significant difference . As used in the original piece, i.e. L’abre des Songes, the pitch sound feature information was used to control a simple oscillator. The resulting soundtrack was chosen to be the background sound of the installation. Additionally we used a very basic random midi note generator with only three variables: low limit, high limit and note density. The notes range was controlled by a combination of the centroid and the spread features (providing us the spectral center and its limits), and the loudness feature controlled note density.

The system consists of two loudspeakers, close to the height of a person, front to front, creating a hot spot aligned with the center of the round window, thus creating a perfect harmony between the sound and the space.

This reworked soundscape was occasionally interrupted, 4 times a day for 15 minutes, with a sound composition by Filipe Lopes.  The intervention focused on exploring the acoustics of the room (especially the resonance frequencies) to expand "sound everywhere," as opposed to a sound concentrated at the center.