A sound installation by Francisco López
Curated by Jesús de la Peña
Puertas de Castilla center, Murcia, Spain
September 26th – December 3th 2014
Forests are natural acousmatic environments. The typical intricacy of their structure amplifies the conditions for multi-layered -and sometimes quite complex- sonic phenomena whose sources can hardly be seen. In many cases they also sonically manifest as three-dimensional constellations of small point sources generated by insects and birds, moving through the canopy and the undergrowth of the arboreal vegetation.
“Ghost Forest” is a compositional transposition of a multitude of original recordings, made in diverse forests all over the world. With the aim of creating an crisp three-dimensional, subtly immersive environment, the original captured “reality” has been evolved through extreme filtering. This process has been carried out to reveal a high frequency, ghostly spectrum of frequencies of the transposed forest environments.
The different “spectral” sonic layers are automatically mixed live in the space (in ever-changing combinations) through a special sound system specially designed for this installation, with an array of small speakers spread out in the space. These sounds have been thoroughly worked in the studio as an automatic composition, both for the this specific speaker sound system used and for the actual exhibition space.
Original environmental sound matter recorded at multiple locations in Australia, Borneo, Brazil, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Greece, Japan, Senegal, and the USA between 1990 and 2013. Created at “mobile messor” (Amsterdam, Besançon, The Hague, Barcelona, Madrid, Murcia) in 2011-14.
Ghost Forest is a sound piece-installation in constant evolution, with a character that is not only “site-specific” (relative to the actual presentation space) but also “media-specific” (relative to the specific fetures of the media for its presentation). The diverse mutations it has experienced are the outcome of the sensibility, adaptability and creative response to the marked (and crucial) differences and peculiarities of each space-media situation. In each manifestation of this piece, the number, type, organization and distribution of speakers, as well as the studio work on the sound materials, are relative (and adapted) to those space-media conditions. Since the piece operates, among other elements, with sound reflections and their mix in the actual space, it not only adapts to the different circumstances, but is also the intentional and explicit result of the characteristics of each one of the space-media.
Previous realizations of “Ghost Forest”:
(1) Ghost Forest – Besançon (France) 2011
Outdoos in a forest in Besançon (France) for the event “Back to the Trees”.
(2) Ghost Forest – Barcelona (Spain) 2012
In the indoor main space of the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion in Barcelona (Spain), for the Sónar Festival 2012.
(3) Ghost Forest – Amsterdam (Holland) 2013
In the GlazenHuis Pavilion of Amstel Park in Amsterdam.
(4) Ghost Forest – Arlington (USA) 2014
At Artisphere’s Terrace Gallery in Arlington (VA, USA).