Airport Poetry and Cathedral Art: Audio Spotlight in Innovative UK Art Initiatives -

Airport Poetry and Cathedral Art: Audio Spotlight in Innovative UK Art Initiatives

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Heathrow Airport's "Passport to Poetry"

Waiting for a delayed flight at an international airport during the holidays can be a grueling time for travelers. But this Easter, travelers at London's Heathrow Airport were treated to original poetry readings broadcasted through Audio Spotlight directional speakers as they passed by various "poetry points" throughout the airport. 

The recordings featured the work of children's authors and poets Michael Rosen, Danny Wallace, MG Leonard and Laura Dockrill and were all written especially for this program. Designed and installed by one of Holosonics' international resellers, UK's own Status Audio Visual, the initiative was intended to keep passengers entertained during this hectic time.

"Easter at Heathrow brings huge numbers of families traveling for leisure and we wanted to make it as enjoyable as possible as soon as their journey begins," Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said in a statement.

With almost one million passengers flying out of Heathrow this Easter, Audio Spotlight was proud to help make their travels more enjoyable from the start.

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Paul Benney's "Speaking in Tongues"

Contemporary British artist Paul Benney's ambitious large-scale work, "Speaking in Tongues" depicts the artist's friends and contemporaries as Apostles in the Pentecostal state with luminous flames above their heads, evoking spiritual awareness.

Benney creatively uses setting and sound to enhance the experience and engagement with the piece.Here in Chichester Cathedral, the relationship to the story of the 'Speaking in Tongues' is made audibly tangible with the help of Audio Spotlight speakers. From afar, viewers begin to hear a multitude of monologues as a slightly disorienting babble, but as they approach the work, the intimate and personal monologues become individually discernible. 

This project is a very personal work for the artist, as it attempts to bring different people from various ethnicities and religious backgrounds together, to individually express a state of grace, beyond partisan concerns. The diverse ages, races, and faiths of the persons in "Speaking in Tongues" underline the potential for inclusivity and cross-cultural engagement.

The sound installation, conceived and recorded by Benney, uses Holosonics Audio Spotlight directional speakers to allow all the figures in the painting to relate a memorable, spiritually enlightening moment of their lives. The work can been viewed at Chichester Cathedral, until May 18th, 2016.

The Audio Spotlight system creates focused beams of sound by using a narrow beam of ultrasound as a "virtual" sound source. While ultrasound itself is outside the range of human hearing, this innovative technique causes the air itself to change the ultrasound's "shape" as it travels. This change leads to the creation of clear sound that can be directed to a precise location, with directivity and control far exceeding any traditional loudspeaker. This directional audio technology has been used in the past to reach visitors at amusement parks, museums, trade shows, and many retail environments. Holosonics was a proud partner in these innovative UK arts initiatives.

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The Art of Sound Technology

Recently, I met with Museum of Modern Art curator Juliet Kinchin to talk about her new exhibit ‘Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye,’ a show that tells the story of music, design and technology, starting from Edison’s invention of the phonograph, all the way to modern music players, record players, loudspeakers and amplifiers.

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Meyer Sound Loudspeakers for Houston Airport’s New Terminal

A self-powered 48 V Meyer Sound loudspeaker system has been installed in the south concourse of the new Terminal B at Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH.) Despite large reflective surfaces and tall ceilings, announcements and music are projected with a crisp clarity difficult to achieve in transportation facilities.