Charlie Morrow: SOUND SPACE AND MEMORY Guidelines for Sonic Identity


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charlie Morrow describes the function of sound in space and memory - based on his liflong work with sound, soundscabes and events based on sound in the most different locations. He also includes his work with 3D sound and the sound cube - giving the possi

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sound space and memory guidelines for sonic identity charles morrow productions llc new york helsinki barton vt +1.212.989.2400


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sound space and memories guidelines for sonic identity the concept provide unique sonic experiences and identities for physical spaces create awareness and vocabulary for sonic journey planning and design explore the creation of memories through audio experience and strategies examine the sonic relationship between spatial design and memory-making provide guidelines for sonic awareness vocabulary and memory-making detail uses of the guidelines for analysis and creation of sonic identity in habitat and civilization communication celebration branding learning working selling and possibly healing copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 1


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charlie morrow composing identities composer and sound artist morrow has created soundscapes for the louvre in paris the american museum of natural history in new york city the smithsonian institution s arctic study center in anchorage sc johnson company s headquarters in racine wisconsin the new-york historical society and marimekko s flagship shops in europe and the usa collaborators for spatial design projects include ralph appelbaum associates foster partners david chipperfield architects nokia arup engineering electrosonics the empire state building and the new york city department of parks understanding the concert hall as only a portion of the a vast platform for music and sound art morrow has employed broadcast media internet public spaces and all possible spaces for music and sound work linking sound of spaces to memory creation he has produced landseaair a sonic history of the world and guidelines for sonic identity an innovator in art and technology charlie morrow is concerned with a mix of the new and the ancient coming from a family of physicians and a one-time pre-med student morrow has long envisioned a healing component to his musical sonic and verbal experiences morrow has been active as a composer producer and performer since the late 1960s in both experimental and commercial realms early on he forged productive relationships with visionary artist-writer-musicians such as john cage nam june paik and allen ginsberg whom he accompanied as sideman his affinity for popular culture led to work composing jingles and other advertising music for hefty bags mercedes benz and the city of new york transit authority he did arrangements for `60s rock groups such as the vanilla fudge and the rascals with poet jerome rothenberg morrow launched the new wilderness foundation early in the 1970s through the foundation morrow provided crucial support for much experimental sound and performance art as well as poetry in the united states and elsewhere morrow designed and directed the foundation s solstice festival broadcasts the first-ever networked global performances under the foundation rubric morrow created citywide public events for new york and copenhagen toot n blink for two fleets of boats conducted by radio djs is a birthday present for john cage who famously preferred the blinks the recent soundscape project at nationwide children s hospital columbus oh was created with morrow s partners maija-leena remes and robert freedman who together have produced projects worldwide copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 2


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guidelines for sonic identity our ears are open all the time unlike eyes which blink and close ears are open in sleep even in coma it is said that sounds are both the first and last sensations of our lives ears provide balance and hearing to 1 2 3 understand what we hear in navigating through life cover the ears experience hearing with the entire body cover the eyes interpret and navigate the world with sound cover your eyes and your ears what you experience is also a part of normal reality it is the experience of your other senses other than seeing and hearing our minds identify measure compare and store sonic information sonic sensations become images and feelings that shape experiences and create memories ancient greek orators memorized the portals and rooms of standard memory houses to prepare a speech they mentally placed each of their arguments in a place in a room delivering a speech they mentally walked the memory house recalling their arguments the relationship between memory of place and memory is sonic and visual once of the strongest memory-making sound experiences is that of entering and leaving a place it is a key element in sonic identity planning and design the exploration of sonic identity informs architecture as well as interior landscape and most other design disciplines every sound associated with a place can be intentionally chosen or shaped a proper sonic identity should embrace the full spectrum of sonic communication and a great variety of expression while unifying the identity it should inspire creativity in realization of sounds within its guidelines and participate in the on-going spirit of the place our all experience creators task is to create memories stuff that will last beyond the moment sound does affect us so much more than visuals which are a part of the daily sense bombing we all are exposed to sound creeps in under your skin and has a much more sophisticated impact that ll last longer flemming madsen copenhagen dk copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 3


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table of contents 1 framing sonic identity key elements overview the workflow 2 how sound works experience of sound listening hearing hearing is driven by attention sonic interactivity the body and ears as tools of navigation sound and time balance hearing volition mix to create a sense of time a vocabulary of sound and sonic assets 2d and 3d sound illusions clarity soundscapes forms for narrative soundscapes scalability of sound attraction and flow guideline sonic transparency vocabulary for key elements of sonic identity 3 location themes ideals drive sonic identity conceptual frame and mission the iconic image and memory goals key elements of sonic identity planning 4 5 iconic sonic image sound marks signals branding sound marks design points sounds in the place sound of place opportunities indoors and outdoors environmental architectural sound marks iconic sounds 6 visitors anticipation experience memories cultivating the buzz delivering it keeping it alive 7 sonic journey from entrance to exit guidelines for flow from soundscape to soundscape quiet areas and quiet moments one model central soundscapes and connected soundscapes copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 4


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8 guidelines for repeating experiences cyclic forms exhibitions performances media sound features exhibition and media sonic graphics logo sounders transitional sounds water features sound art robotic sound pavers 9 daily ambient sounds design restrictions and management 10 standards guidelines evolve from the key elements standards for sound sound library catalog of sound curatorial presentational performance based promotional and sponsor related health and workplace related legal and political the sound library sound library nomenclature metadata guideline metadata copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 5


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1 framing sound identity key elements the sonic identity of a place is more like that of experiencing a cathedral than looking at its photographic image one does not consume it all at once it is experienced over spans of time sonic identity embraces all designed sounds situational architectural environmental in media communications promotions and events on-line and industrial such as ring-tones elevator tones and emergency signals the sonic identity relates to choices of floor surfaces and surface treatments to location daily-work sounds sonic identity drives the sonic journey of people in places over sound days and sound years the aggregated sounds over extended periods of time sonic identity guidelines integrate concept-driven sonic experiences acoustics media events curatorial approach sonic graphics style and technical standards sonic identity properly made and followed can drive location identity image experience and revenues sonic identity guidelines can reduce expenses and generate more revenues compared with less designed and coordinated sound management having a design spec style manual and sound library can reduce the need for new from-scratch audio production having an archiving and metadata standard keyed to the spec facilitates the reuse of sonic elements the multiple-platform use of sonic elements for example as ring tones as on-line sound graphics and in exhibition media reduces the need to go out for new sound work it creates coherence of the experience in much the way that a television show will use its branded sound and music library across episodes and seasons together with visual identity the sonic identity provides an ongoing and manageable toolkit and set of standards for all location sound and to support the overarching iconic identity a sonic identity package analyzes and guides design of key elements the sonic identity is driven by location themes ideals conceptual frame and mission the overarching iconic image and memory goals sonic identity guidelines frame base-level and exhibition design operations curatorial and technical practices sonic analysis reveal sound-memory functions of virtual and real locations the imaginative integration of sonic identity elements contribute to the total location experience for those in the location for those who have yet to begin their journey to the location and for those returning to location copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 6


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overview outdoor and indoor environments can be controlled enhanced and sweetened sonically to create sonic identity visitors entrance and exit experiences are ideal locations for sonic identity in developing a sonic vocabulary and sound library for an identity package consider a wide range of sounds non-electronic sound such as water sounds machinery steam engines sirens bells are highly effective in the expressive sound toolkit and tend to wear better over time than musical and electronic sound these harnessed sounds must stay effective for years and should be regularly managed through observation and feedback with an understanding of the location themes ideals one makes an inventory and assessment of the sonic assets of the location the location outer and interior spaces the collection the acoustic performance of the spaces the sounds of all machines call buttons alarms software media collections delivery system it floors and pavers in this context we can understand how sound works the workflow to be mapped into the phases of design 1 exploration let the location s themes ideals drive a review of opportunities and sonic assets leading to a scope budget and schedule 2 site visits to experience and record the sonic assets and liabilities 3 formulating the iconic sonic image based on content and location sound of place 4 survey of the complete content for sonic opportunities 5 formulating the sonic journey 6 delivery of a sonic comparables study a style sample package with concepts and vocabulary 7 testing of concepts leading to solutions a sonic vocabulary and best practices production of a style and guideline manual with sonic examples and an action plan for implementation covering all key elements copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 7


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2 how sound works experience of sound listening hearing sound is both a physiological and a subjective experience described as hearing and listening we automatically track threats and objects of desire in 3d space as we navigate the world people can each have very different hearing based on physiology health age culture and interests our hearing evolved in relationship to our needs to understand spaces and events in association with our other senses younger people have better high frequency hearing than elders young people listen to the world closer to the ground than taller older people they tend to understand sound differently because their language skills have not eclipsed their innate sonic literacy hearing is driven by attention sound with motion involuntarily demands attention sounds from overhead or from behind instantly compel attention one can design threatening or welcoming sonic environments a change in sound-flow grabs attention one can voluntarily shut out certain sounds while reading one can focus on having a conversation in a loud environment our mind wants to know what it listens to and probes for information blind persons have acute hearing of space and can decode implications of sounds the ears measure the detail of physical spaces a strange sound in the night raises questions the questioning mind wants to know where and how a sound is created is this a threat or an opportunity sonic interactivity the body and ears as tools of navigation interactivity between environment and people is worth noticing we absorb sound and because our ears are on both sides of the head can read the environment with ourselves in it we have memorized the shape of our body and the location of our body in standing walking and sitting we adjust at will to what we learn on a continuous basis from our hearing and other senses sound and time balance hearing volition mix to create sense of time our sense of time is bound-up with a mix of motions emotions challenges and wishes which play out in our environments we might stroll through a farmers market drawn by sound sight and aroma the cochlear gyroscope in our ears keeps us upright our wishes and ability to explore and buy copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 8


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something draws us forward listening to our footsteps and the world around us time spent in a place is memorized along with the feelings and experiences such as the sound of the place and particular sounds the composer mahler never forgot his summers in the alps he used animal bells in his music to evoke the feelings he had in those alpine summers similarly the drone of hvac units and the continuous impact of dull acoustics in workplaces can alter our sense of time in this respect sound can come to the rescue with richly engaging sonic environmental solutions moving physically to sound marching dancing striding makes time pass in unique ways being entranced with a story is in story time playing a game in game time the way a location addresses its sound spaces and the journey through them directly impacts the sense of the passage of time and the quality of that time for both the staff and visitors if there is a positive interesting audio environment time passes faster a vocabulary of sound and sonic assets until the invention of sound recording sound lived only when it happened as a result of an action or vocalization sonic memory has expanded from thoughts in the head to written and spoken descriptions and emulations to analog and digital sonic storage more recent technologies have opened the door for do-it-yourself sound production distribution and re-use sounds reveal their sources human sounds breathing body sounds voices foot steps music play heard as they are made illusions of sounds all sound is the illusion of our brains memory and reality mix descriptions of sounds written spoken imitated evoked through gesture and chemistry environmental sounds wind sounds of places animal and insect sounds mechanical sounds made by machines and objects can be controlled and sounded recorded sound evolving technologies from talking drums to the cloud stored and played sound technologies past and present are available to design and create sonic experiences and environments 2d and 3d sound illusions clarity we live in a 3d sound world involuntarily identifying and locating sounds around us people are 3d literate from living in the world they know the sounds of life and of the places they inhabit and visit copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 9


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we can now deliver electronic 3d sound environments which transform physical environments both as immersive you are in it physically or as non-immersive you are apart from it physically you can sonically step into the past the future and invented worlds true 3d sounds allow many separate sounds to be heard simultaneously each from its own location an actuality design for the power of place true 3d sound can be layered vertically as well as horizontally by mixing true 3d with beamed sound and sound from cellphones one can provide a nest of localized and personalized experiences soundscapes soundscape is a word to describe sound environments the natural world is rather quiet but the human world has progressively grown noisier we affect soundscape with objects actions mechanisms populations of life forms including humans and architecture we can build them electronically all sound tells a story soundscapes harness this and range from environmental to narrative in a location the flow of soundscapes is the audio journey from outside the location audio space to the exterior through the entrance through all its halls and spaces and back to the exterior forms for narrative soundscapes marking spaces and time the cycle repetitions over time one useful metaphor is the life cycle of a person from gestation to birth to childhood to adulthood to old age and passing on a new birth continuing the cycle this can follow the rise and fall of an idea like a musical style soundscapes can mark the passage of a day a weather front a season a year sounders thematic bits sounders are short identifiable recurring sound elements used structurally for example the sounder one hears on news radio several times an hour identifying the station or the show sounders are a part of broadcast identity and are powerful in exhibitions as well a set of sounders can be created for use in galleries in media on-line this sounder package should be modular and evocative so as to be a welcome and not an irritant examples bird calls notes from the blues a fragment of a famous voice copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 10


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the dynamic metadata system should include frequency location in the physical exhibition environment and grouping with content scalability of sound sound is tiny on a phone headset or laptop it is big in soundtracks it is bigger in soundscapes it is huge in outdoor spaces sound can be arranged mashed-up and continually served up anew conceptual unified sound libraries can be replicated for coherence brand making and for stimulating memories high-level librarianship is needed to integrate sound libraries into dynamic ever-updating experiences on all threads of a location s sonic network a well-made sonic identity maximizes assets and saves money over time attraction and flow a signal is sound with precise meaning asking immediate attention and often a call to action the doors are opening show time dinner time come to order it is midnight bugle calls are like signal flags marking time with a tune the meaning of which is singular attractors are sound events that draw attention the party is over there the meeting is in progress the movie is rolling the concert is underway the banquet is roaring soundscapes are attractors games and media screens are attractors attractors and signals are defined by the time and space they do not fill midnight is a unique time branded by 12 bells the reception and arteries of a concert hall or arena are filled with anticipation that enhances the entrance into the concert or event the sonic spill of the concert or the event heightens the anticipation and rivets the attention on the event by using attractors signals and spills one creates the flow of the place an event a city street a location in a location setting fill and spill and hence the flow is defined in the sonic identity sound of the area around location entrance and exit experience fill the mind in immersion minimize spill for sale of tickets merchandise major reflection trigger action and memory with evocative and signal sound content copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 11


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the sonic identity is about sound in the location spirit sound on-message and about undesirable sounds the king of sweden during the time of the plague called a moratorium on ringing stockholm church bells for every death guideline sonic transparency audio content should be transparent it comprises the voices music and sounds of life and locations it is the voices and footsteps of visitors it includes iconic sounds short memorable sonic punctuations silence and catastrophic sounds vocabulary for key elements of sonic identity planning in creating a sonic identity we need language to describe sound once described sound can be discussed and used effectively the key elements of sonic identity planning are 4 iconic sonic image sound marks signals branding 5 sound of place opportunities 6 visitors anticipation experience memories 7 sonic journey from entrance to exit 8 exhibitions performances media sound features 9 daily ambient sounds copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 12


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3 location themes ideals drive sonic identity location themes ideals drive sonic identity within the sonic realities of place within the use of sound and music in exhibits in media promotions and events in driving the sonic journey in creating visitor s anticipation experience memories in designing restricting and managing daily sounds the mission of the location is a starting point in defining which sounds and music belong to the identity which sounds are in the spirit of the location and which are undesirable sounds the first step is to frame the master concept and to assess the sonic assets how does this location sound how should it sound what is the entrance and exit experience sonically where can sound define spaces and serve as an attractor how does everything sonic from and about this location contribute to identity the sonic identity guidelines must inspire creativity in the realization of sounds and further the on-going spirit of the location copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 13


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4 iconic sonic image sound marks signals branding iconic sonic image of the location can be a sound mark like a trade which is its brand niagara falls has its unforgettable astounding sight and sound a sound mark can built on the location such as big ben for london bells for a church the train-whistle such sound marks are often signals marking time or occasion such as call to worship electronic media uses sound logos sound mark and sound logo making is where experience design industrial design and branding converge soundscape of place soundscape is the total sound experience of a location at any particular time and over time it includes sound of the location outside and inside sound features done properly water features sound art robotic sound pavers wind harps can all enhance and brand a location natural and built keynote sounds the music of the space itself places can have a musical tone such as the composite tones of moving air blowing through the space the resonance of voices as in a cathedral the quiet footsteps on carpets and lawns sound of place can be understood as three 3d layers atmospheres the 3d sound environment the audio sense of being there there are many types of quiet for example interiors forest night we can synthesize these through architecture and landscape or electronically to create a dynamic environment fixed sound scenery things that have fixed location a band on a stage a waterfall a clock tower a school yard these include a2d audio sources and robotic sounds moving sounds a bird flying a motorcycle a whizzing flying ball a charging rhino a marching band a galloping horse design points how should outdoor and indoor public spaces sound and feel what activity do they support how should transitional spaces sound feel and function sounds in the place visitor footfalls and voices are the predominant sounds over which sounds of experience media announcements and industrial signals must be heard water features air handlers elevator sounds noises from outside through the walls windows doors vents media copyright © 2012 charles morrow productions llc all rights reserved 14



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