Matias Harju

Sound Designer, Musician

Brainstorm

Keywords: installation, interactive, multichannel, surround
Roles: concept, sound design, programming

Brainstorm sound installation

Brainstorm was an interactive sound installation presented as a part of the Aalto University season opening Aalto Day One on September 5th 2018 in Otaniemi, Espoo.

It was based on my other installation Words Never Forgotten. This time, however, the installation expanded from a single room to an outdoor space as well as another building. The words and sounds created by the audience in the first location were transmitted to these peripheric locations using wireless IEM systems and an Internet cloud server.

In the installation the guest of the opening ceremony were encouraged to step to a microphone placed in the middle of the foyer and express in a free manner what Aalto University means to them. Some people said a few words, some used sentences and some produced a sound or a short melody. Computer recorderd the inputs and created an immersive word (and sound) cloud circling around in the space using a surround speaker setup.

The words could also be heard outside of the building coming from several art items (such as a watering can hanging in the air) created by a team of scenography students.

The installation was also running in sync in the new arts and design building Väre where the guests walked from the hall after the ceremony.

The original installation Words Never Forgotten was a representation of the Internet as an environment where one has a freedom to comment and do almost whatever comes to mind, but at the same time accepting the fact that once something is expressed it will stay there possibly forever and can surface later taken out of its original context.

However, for this festive and joyful opening day of the university I wanted to adjust the installation to be a bit more lighthearted and match the day's theme "Aalto is the home of..." Thus the installation took more an uplifting role and was also used to create semi-interactive material for the musical performance at the ceremony.