Life in the darkness

The „Night Sound Space“ at the LWL Natural Science Museum in Münster, Germany

It was huge fun to realize this animal soundscape for the temporary exhibition „Life in the Darkness“ at the LWL Natural Science Museum in Münster, Germany. The two portrayed ecosystems were the Amazonas Rainforest and the Sonora Desert on the border of the USA and Mexico, which were played back in alternation in a small darkened space inside the museum. Because the idea of the experience was to offer a correct sonic representation of both habitats, all the animal sounds that have been used in the soundscapes were (already existing) recordings of the original species found in the two geographic areas. We sort of improvised a bit with the proportions of the different animal voices, and for sure the conversations that came up would dumbfound the regular squirrel monkey …

This was a relatively low budget project, but we could still easily fit in three loudspeaker levels using MNTN for the spatial sound design. One speaker ring was located on the floor, one above ear level, and one on the ceiling, so that the species at ground level and in the trees could be localized at the right places.

The technical setup was realized with nine M-Audio BX5 D2 loudspeakers, an Adam Sub 7 subwoofer, and the Cymatic LP-16 multichannel flash-card audio player, which made just 1.500 € altogether, plus cables and mounting gear. Since we knew that we wouldn't need that much power, we chose good sounding equipment even though the budget was very limited. Basically, that's the advantage when the concepts for sound design and equipment are thought as a bundle.