Sonophore is an award winning site-specific, interactive sound installation developed in 2011 by Signal to Noise. The project title can be translated from Latin as ‘sound-carrier’, with the work intending to explore both magnetic tape’s materiality, and it's capacity to hold and transmit sonic information.
As visitors enter the installation space, they are invited to use a custom interface, taking the form of a glove, to interact with hundreds of strips of unspooled audio cassette tape. Attached directly to the walls of the space, this tape laterally spans its interior architecture, surrounding the participant and audience. As such, the space’s physical contours act as a structure on which the tape can be both displayed and interacted with.
The work is an extension of our previous project Analogue Tape Glove, using the wireless tangible glove interface to allow the participant to play back the sound content of the tape, enabling an active exploration of the surface of the building. These sounds are then manipulated through the participants hand movements over the tape, with the speed and direction influencing the sonic result.
Made up of both found and field recordings, the sound content of the audiotape used is site specific, dictated by the unique history and connotations of each exhibition space. During the Installation’s exhibition at The Old Credit Union, Skibereen, Ireland, for example, Signal to Noise used audio material gathered and produced around the subject of financial infrastructures and numerical systems. Such a conceptual underpinning works in parallel with Sonophore’s engaging approach, allowing for sonic glimpses of the site’s heritage to be playfully revealed.