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A buffer of mature poplar trees on the edge of the Festival site is the location of this openended listening experience. As wind passes through the leaves, a field of sound surrounds the visitor. Moffat and Bates propose an intervention that frames and presents this experience by creating an electronic sound field amidst the poplar trees – building on it, transforming it, and ultimately creating a woven fabric of sound.

As visitors wander through the site they will become aware of slowly shifting and changing sounds that are familiar but not clearly identifiable – the buzz of insects, perhaps, or white noise from a radio. Five sensors capture changes in wind speed and direction that are then translated into subtle changes in the sounds broadcast through a grid of small speakers and amplifiers that are distributed throughout the site. A conversation develops as the trees whisper back and the electronic sound field changes in response.

The designers have created a sonic composition that is equal in length to the duration of the Festival (144,000 minutes). Their garden thus becomes a performance space that is responsive to the changes of the site itself. This listening experience is intimately connected with the specific landscape of the Jardins de Métis.

Architect: Doug Moffat, Steve Bates

Years of exhibition: 2007, 2008, 2009

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