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“Amaurotic Soundscapes” – A 5.1 Sound Design Installation by Manix

28 Apr

Unsigned Acts / Preston musician Manolis Manoli, also known as Manix, is approaching the end of his three year Music Production course at UCLan. Recently, he created a 5.1 Sound Design audio installation called “Amaurotic Soundscapes” and presented the piece at the Media Factory Main Theatre 2 of UCLan on April 28. The installation/performance was met with positive feedback from the participants and tutors who attended the show that night and has hopefully gained him a respectable evaluation for his final year independent project at UCLan. By taking away the participants senses, such as “balance and sight”, the main focus of the piece was to arouse the hearing sensory system separately.

“Amaurotic Soundscapes” in fact explores how a listeners’ mind constructs imagery based on the sounds that are heard, by stimulating the individuals mind in order to produce imagery according to the listeners perception of the piece. The piece portrays themes of “exploration, progression through sound and fear” said Manolis, “trying to lure the listener and guide the consciousness into a perpetually drifting and growing path of sound elements”.

Despite the complexities of sounds produced within “Amaurotic Soundscapes”, it is only constructed by three household objects and a Timpani drum, the items used were two metal drinking glasses, a wooden cabinet and a sewing machine, which were mainly chosen because of the materials in which they were made of and characteristic sound properties they obtained.. All recorded sounds were edited and manipulated by Manolis and mixed in 5..1 surround.

During the progression of the installation, the listeners were invited to lie on one of eight beds, which were formed as a circle in the centre of the room. The beds were accompanied by a pillow and resting on each pillow was a blindfold that had to be worn during the duration of the piece. Manolis was also performing with the piece as he stood in the centre of the circle with all the items he had used for the initial recordings of the sounds at his disposal, improvising and producing live sounds to accompany the 5.1 audio.

I was fortunate enough to be present at this event and participated as one of the listeners, my experience of the piece was truly terrifying as the atmosphere created by Manolis did indeed lure me to a world of frightening imagery, I was particularly effected by one sound that sounded to me like a slow pulsating heart-beat on the verge of death, this was a truly fantastic surround experience.

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