Listening Glasses

Installation with glass sculptures

This sculptural installation invites people to use acoustic glasses to discover musical tones in the sound of their environment. Listening Glasses are hollow spheres with a funnel on one side (inserted into the ear) and an opening on the other. Each glass is calibrated to a particular musical tone. If this tone sounds in the surrounding air, the glass resonates and amplifies it.

Scientist Herman von Helmholtz (1821-94) developed glass resonators to help him discern subtle partial tones in the sound of musical instruments. He also used them to listen for music in the sound of his environment, attending to the sound of carriageways, rustling leaves and splashing water. Listening Glasses remembers his work and explores the appeal of finding 'music' in the ambient sound of our cities.

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Listening Glasses

Sound installation with glass sculptures

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For sound refer to Through the Listening Glasses and Do You Hear...