Sensory Soundpit Commissioned by the European City of Science

Di was awarded the artist in residence position for Manchester’s European City of Science 2016

The Sensory Soundpit is an immersive experience, where the audience get the chance to create sounds and visuals by playing with sand.  Di comments, “In a world where so much of our technology is encased in aluminium boxes or simply invisible, it’s wonderful to see digital connect with something as simple and tactile as sand.”

As an artist Di has created a number of new musical instruments that combine art, science and technology. She explains her inspiration for this work “I’ve been curious about phenomena of synaesthesia which is when a sensation in one of the senses triggers a sensation in another.  I wanted to see if I could create a machine that would allow people to see and touch sound as well as hear it.”

The work uses a specially commissioned sound palate by musicians The Architects of Rosslyn. Sound, visuals and motion capture technology have been brought together by creative technologist Paul Miller in collaboration with game designers Shi and Kriss Blank. The team held a Live Lab in July during the Science in the City festival and got input from the public and neuroscientists to develop the artwork.  Di explains, “Everyone had an idea about how the Sensory Soundpit might be used.  It would be nice to think that the experience may be therapeutic in some way or perhaps be a musical instrument for the 21st Century.”