The subwoofer, a powerful instrument responsible for transmitting the visceral energy of pop, hip-hop, and dance music is in this piece repurposed as a performer. Such a powerful engine, capable of shaking entire neighborhoods is reduced to performing a $1 slide whistle- an often comical children’s toy.
Subwhistle is a sound installation that uses low frequency sound to play slide whistles. The air forced out of each of four subwoofers is directed into the mouthpiece of a slide whistle, causing the whistles to sound.
LOCATION: Governors Island, Nolan Park Building 8a
DATES AND TIMES: May 25 – October 21, 2018
TIMES: Fri. Sat. Sun and Holiday Mondays noon – 5 pm
Governors Island New York Ferry Schedule
The subwoofers are fed oscillating sine waves between 10 and 30 hertz- mostly below the threshold of human hearing. This piece uses one audio signal to physically create another.
The installation moves between composed and aleatoric passages. A few simple algorithms generate the composition in real-time. The exact sounds it makes are always different. There is no beginning or ending.
Composer, performer, and sound artist, Bryan Jacobs’ work focuses on interactions between live performers, mechanical instruments and computers. His pieces are often theatrical in nature, pitting blabber-mouthed fanciful showoffs against timid reluctants. The sounds are playfully organized and many times mimic patterns found in human dialogue. Hand-build electromechanical instruments controlled by microcontrollers bridge acoustic and electroacoutic sound worlds. These instruments live dual lives as time-based concert works and non-time-based gallery works. Jacobs, a Guggenheim Fellow, has been lucky enough to have his music and sound art presented at a number of festivals around the world. Bryan is the co-founder of Qubit and a member of Ensemble Pamplemousse.