The Sonic Arts Research Centre has been commissioned to install and develop content for three sound gardens for the re-built Northern Ireland Hospice building on Somerton Road, Belfast.
The project will help contribute to create a calm, yet uplifting atmosphere, engage patients and visitors through changing sound environments and create sensory garden spaces through soundscapes.
Director of Research, Professor Pedro Rebelo and SARC Technical Coordinator, Mr Craig Jackson will lead the project which began in August 2015 and will continue into the beginning of 2016 when building work is due for completion.
The audio in each of the three spaces will have different design treatments to reflect their architecture and use. The development of sonic materials will be based on a participative process with current patients and staff. This will allow us to make use of sound in a reflective manner, triggering sonic memories or transporting listeners to another place. For example the seaside, or birdcalls at dawn.
Multiple loudspeakers will be located in each of the gardens, carefully located to immerse each of the spaces in an ambient cloud of sound. This might include loudspeakers hidden in planting or positioned at at height.
Undergraduate and PhD students at SARC will be contributing to the creation of the sound environments. They will also be undertaking research into the appropriate use of different soundscapes in this type of setting by performing several workshops with patients and staff.
This project has developed from another SARC installation, The Soundscape Park Project. A permanent sound installation in Bridge Community Garden, East Belfast (www.soundscapepark.org). It is anticipated that SARC will continue to feed into these sonic garden installations and continue to develop new and immersive sounds to make pleasurable outdoor environments.