Listen up! Artist Emma Smith has taken over our ground-floor gallery with a duel-exhibition combining two of her previous sound-focused works, 5Hz and Euphonia. Dissecting language, the hidden melody of vocal sounds and the ways in which humans communicate, this interactive gallery invites attendees to look, listen and explore through hands-on audio experiments and impromptu social interactions. With this in mind, here are five ways in which you can get involved with Emma’s work – sound good? Let’s jump in!
Learn A New Language
When you enter the gallery one of the first things you’ll find is a large wooden room with lots of unusual carvings on its walls. This is the Sonic Booth, an area designed to help you learn the new singing language created for the 5Hz section of this exhibition. Don’t worry – you don’t have to be a linguistic expert to pick it up – Emma’s 5Hz speech is a set of sounds that transcend language barriers. It was formulated following a year of in-depth research on the human voice and how we form psychological and neurological responses to it. By picking up one of the in-booth guides, you’ll be able to explore its alphabet, glides and syllables which can be combined in any way you like. Oh and those symbols on the booth? They’re the language in visual form.
Step Behind The Microphone
Venture further into the gallery and you’ll encounter a sound installation and a suspended microphone that looks suspiciously like it’s inviting you to sing into it. That’s because it is. This is the Euphonia section of Emma’s work, which allows you to interact with the audio soundtrack you can hear throughout the space. The Euphonia score is comprised of many different conversations, from many different people, speaking in many different languages – from adults to babies and everyone in between – and its sounds are the subconscious noises – or music – that we all make in everyday speech. By singing into the microphone it’ll react to your vocal tone and change the score in real-time, with a whopping 2200 years’ worth of possible variations.
Play With The Mephistaphone
The hexagonal table near the entrance of Emma’s exhibition is the Mephistaphone, a bespoke musical instrument that uses robotics to help you to create your own music through touch. Programmed into the machine are a series of interchangeable musical parts including soprano, alto, tenor and bass notes, which can be played via a series of robotic arms. By touching the rubber, haptic interface along the outskirts of the table, visitors will be able to make their own music along with the Euphonia score. To find out more about the Mephistaphone and to have a play around, simply visit one of our weekly workshops which take place every Saturday between 15.00 and 17.00 throughout April and May.
Get Your Own Guided Tour From The Artist
Keen to learn more about the thinking behind the 5Hz and Euphonia? Easy! We have a free audio tour from artist Emma Smith which is packed-full of insider information and making-of details on the science behind her work. This resource is designed to be used during your visit to the gallery and can be streamed via your smartphone while you make your way around the space. Simply open the link on your device, hit play and start wandering for your own in-depth guided tour explaining each segment of the exhibition, direct from the artist that made it.
Take A Moment For Yourself
As if all the science and innovative artwork in 5Hz and Euphonia wasn’t enough, Emma has even set up an in-gallery quiet spot and provided books for all those after a little extra reading on the subject at hand. Grab a book and take a seat to find a moment of quiet reflection and peace of mind during your visit. Speaking of which, the exhibition also doubles-up as the perfect chill-out spot amidst a bustling city centre with its neutral tones, comfy sofas and mellow Euphonia soundtrack. Culture, calm and creative thinking – what’s not to like?
Emma Smith: 5Hz and Euphonia continues in our main gallery until Sun 19 May 2019. Find out more here.