In Idle Mode (Noise)

Installation piece, 2022

15 horn loudspeakers, suspended from the ceiling, low-hanging above the ground; with cables, amplifiers, and sound players; 15 audio loops with durations between 11 and 33 minutes; dimensions variable

Production Team
Research Assistants:
Binghuang Xu and Hanyu Qu
Special Thanks to:
Xiao Jian, Xi Lei, Chen Dong, Jin Zhuosheng

Production of Voice Recordings
Experimental music score recorded with seven singers from the
School of Music, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen
Singers: Zhang Waner, Xu Yuxuan, Zhang Han, Chen Caiying, Hou Mingrui, Xie Jiajun, Zhang Yujie
歌手:张婉儿, 徐宇轩,张瀚,陈彩滢,侯明睿,谢佳峻,张雨洁

Recorded at: Lyrin Studio, Shenzhen, Fall 2022
Audio Engineering: Vitomatic, K.ila

In Idle Mode (Noise) thematizes the ambiguous politics of noise as an intangible entity. The work started with a field recording of the fishponds’ sound ecology and translated the recording with computational tools into a musical piece for seven singers from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in Shenzhen who were asked to interpret the musical piece. These singing voices, as recordings, are playing from a “swarm” of horn loudspeakers that hover above the ground as if they were insects hovering above the fishponds. The sound that they emit is ambiguous as is the original field recording – In Idle Mode (Noise) is thus a poetic approach to the distinct sound ecology of the fishponds through the technology of translation/transcription from recording to sound writing. The horn loudspeaker used to play the singers’ voices may or may not visually point to the ambiguous aesthetic of public sound: it may remind us of its use in public space, and yet it is capable of producing a thoroughly poetic sonic experience quintessentially made of human voices.

Photos: (c) 2023 Marcel Zaes