House Music (A): And the Rest of You (2012)

A Musical Haunted Mansion

 

Conceived and built by You Nakai and Ai Chinen

First Installation: 17-18 November 2013, Mikke Konohana Art Festival, Osaka

1st Floor

a) Four small speakers hang from the ceiling forming a square tracing the contour of the room

(adjust number of speakers according to the size of the room).

b) A microphone is placed in the center of the room.

c) A light bulb is set somewhere in the room, preferably in the route to the second floor.

d) The input to the microphone is connected to the four speakers through a 5-10 minute delay, and the volume of the speaker is set at max.

e) The gating of the speakers, as well as the switching of the light bulb, are triggered by the sensor on the second floor  (so unless there is motion on the second floor, the speakers remain silent and the light bulb off).

2nd Floor

a) The whole floor is completely dark.

b) 200 sound-activated chirping bird toys are dispersed throughout the room with many shelves, so that they are triggered only when people arrive to this floor.

c) Ten or more mirrors (of different sizes) are placed in various places around the room.

d) At one location in the room (not near the entrance), a motion sensor is placed, which activates the gating of the speakers as well as the switching of the light bulb downstairs.

Consequences

 

a) Any sound an audience inputs to the microphone will be played back from the speakers 5-10 minutes later, only if the audience proceeds and activates the sensor on the second floor.

b) Since the output of the speaker will re-enter the microphone, layers of feedback will be continuously accumulated, making the sound coming out of the speakers louder and noisier, as long as people keep coming in (once the flow of visitors stops for more than the length of preset delay, the feedback is reset). At the premiere, which was part of a two-day art festival in Osaka, the number of visitors increased towards the end of the second day as more and more people rushed in to see the piece before the festival closed. This caused a continuous layering of feedback, making the sound louder and louder, until distressed neighbors called the police who came and forced the installation to shut down just 5 minutes before its scheduled closing time.

Osaka, 14-18 November, 2012