As 2020 is, among others, the International Year of Sound, we decided to celebrate it by performing a series of labs revolving around the idea of sound awarness.

Our sound armchair is basically an armchair incorporating a sound system in its very structure, so that the person experimenting the armchair listens and feels to the music deriving from the object the person is sitting on. The armchair as a medium for sound aims to bring to the listener a more direct connection to the audio, as the body of the listener is placed directly on the medium, enabling a more tactile and physical connection thereto.

With that in mind, our first stop was the Gymnasium for the Visually Impaired, where we thought the sound armchair could be quite an immersive experience for the children. Our workshops took place between 26 February – 5 March and it was a wonderful experience for us as well.

The children tested the sound armchair by setaing on it, relaxing and listening to various tunes, from classical pieces of Lizst to Daft Punk. They also kept the beat of the sound chair, played games and crafted modeling clay while listening to the music.

Images

Audio excerpt

Below is an audio excerpt from the workshop in which we talk about the music the kids listened to and their favourite musical genres. Music will be played from the sound chair and the children will try it one at a time while the others will craft the modelling clay.

Interview

M.

  • What does music mean for you?
  • Generally, music? Hmm…it relaxes me.
  • How was it when you tried the sound armchair?
  • I liked it a lot, it was a relaxing moment.

R.

  • How was it when you tried the sound armchair?
  • I could feel the vibration and it sounds differently.
  • What does it seem different? You said that it vibrates…
  • Yes, and you somehow hear the music from the back.

R.

  • What does music mean for you?
  • I don’t know, it can be anything. 
  • What did you feel on the sound armchair?
  • It was very intense.
  • Is the sound different?
  • Yeees, different in a good way, with more bass.
  • Do you remember a piece you liked? I think I know that one too actually.
  • You know it, Symphonic Prelude.
  • And what did you feel when listening to that piece?
  • I don’t know…scenes in a movie, I was imagining some scenes.

A.

  • What do you think about the sound armchair?
  • It is very interesting that he managed to put the speakers inside it. And the way it is connected…
  • Does it feel different?
  • Yes, it feels like it can be heard directly from inside the armchair.

Many thanks to the Gymnasium for the Visually Impaired, to the principal Cazan Cosmina, to the project coordinator Carmen Avramescu and to all the teachers and the children who participated – it has been a pleasure to collaborate with each of them!