Sound art exhibits open in South River

·3 min read

New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA) in South River is now in full mode with its latest edition of Sound Travels Festival of Sound Art. Darren Copeland, NAISA’s artistic director, says two exhibits are now on display throughout the summer with a third almost ready to open and a fourth making a three-day appearance in August. The two experiential interactions currently available to the public are Orbits and Gong Show. Jesse Stewart of Ottawa created the Gong Show exhibit, which consists of three metal gongs suspended outside the front of the NAISA building that are motion-activated. As visitors approach the building and move toward the front window a camera picks up their image and movements and that activates the gongs which make various sounds. Stewart has a second exhibit on site called Orbits, a collaboration with Matt Edwards, also of Ottawa. Edwards and Stewart repurposed a circular ball machine that’s typically found in a science museum. The machine contains a number of ball bearings lying in the base that visitors bring to the concave surface by cranking a handle. Once in play, the ball bearings continuously circle the concave surface until they eventually lose momentum and fall back into the base. Edwards and Stewart added microphones into the ball machine to pick up the sounds of the moving bearings and they also added sound processing devices. The result is highly magnified sounds of the bearings making their way around and around the ball machine until they drop into the hole in the middle. The third exhibit that can be heard and interacted with opens this Thursday. It was designed by Ottawa resident Ellen Waterman and is named Bodily Listening in Place. The display has three components. Participants put on headphones connected to a laptop and hold a pad to their chest which is also connected to the laptop. The laptop displays a woman running a couple of sticks along a metal drum making various sounds along the way. However the only way to hear the sounds is through the headphones and pad. In the case of the pad, the drum sound emanates through the pad which is felt on the chest. From Aug. 4 to 6, Jorgen Teller of Copenhagen will travel around South River and Machar setting up a mobile sound tent residents and visitors can experience. NAISA is open every day this summer except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Although these are outdoor displays, NAISA also provides adventurous listening everyday online. Go to to listen to NAISA-Radio. The public can also check out NAISA's Youtube work at or listen to Making Waves at which is a monthly podcast and radio show. Rocco Frangione is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the North Bay Nugget. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.

Rocco Frangione, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The North Bay Nugget

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