Cathy van Eck
A performance for mp3 players and portable hornloudspeakers
A usual fashion to hear music nowadays is through headphones. The mp3-player made more music transportable than ever before and public spaces are crowded nowadays with people, living in their own acoustic world. My project is about reversing this situation. I am walking around the city, playing music from an mp3-player, this time not for creating private music, but for diffusing it out of two big yellow hornloudspeakers, radiating the sound to the environment. Walking through the city my composition for mp3 player is audible for everybody, instead of the usual situation, in which people are isolated from their environment by wearing headphones.
The siren is both a mythological woman, having the body of a bird and the head of a woman as a noise maker, used to warn in emergency cases. The sirens as bird-women were known in Antiquity for their beautyful singing. It was unable to resist them and most of the men who heard them did not survive. The emergency siren is a noisemaker and can be seen as a survival tool. I used both as an acoustic, visual and conceptual starting-point for the project Hearing Sirens.
￼Figure 1. Attic red figure vase depicting sirens