Sound Mirrors

Sound Mirrors… Reflective sound

This ongoing project continues and quite where it will lead is an unknown.

Sound Mirrors were developed by the British military after the bombardment of Hartlepool in the first world war. They faced out to sea and an operator listening could hear ships, planes or airships that were to far away to be seen with the naked eye.

They worked well and were installed at several places along the East and South UK coasts as well as one in Malta. As planes became faster the sound mirrors or ‘listening ears’ became obsolete but they evolved and eventually became radar .

reflector 1 crop

I have been working with sound mirrors for several years, using them to bounce sound in installation and performance environments.

The dishes reflect my soundpieces creating definite hot and cold spots of sound and audiences are encouraged to move about, listen and interact with the sound space.

The dishes are a collaborative work with sculptor Rob Olins.

reflector 2 - 2

We have taken the dishes to many venues around the UK including galleries, art festivals, raves (they work in the chillout rooms) and exhibition spaces. We recieved funding to tour an exhibition featuring them to special needs schools based all around the West country (2015 – 2017).

disc listener

I have also used the dishes at some of my solo commissions (including the Sonic Anomaly shows and the lighting up the Lea installations).

inside reflect 1

Each different space/installation has involved a different set of sounds.

disc on container 2
Rob at werk

For example – In the Foyer of the REP theatre in Birmingham from Sept to Dec 2014 there was an exhibition consisting of 6 of the sound mirrors.

2014-09-09 17.47.52
2014-09-09 17.48.40

Lee helped to facilitate this show being involved with initial concepts, sound and physical design as well as running sound recording and editing workshops for local outreach projects which prepared the sound collages used on the dishes..

here are some dishes in other venues/spaces…

Dishes at colston Hall 1
Colston dishes from above
Dishes Alfresco