My interest in interactive projects is informed by my desire to create a dialogue between sound and art. As an experimental musician and experiential designer interested in creative technologies, interactive environments are my art form for project development. I strive to explore and challenge the limitations of sound art to make the field accessible to anyone with imagination and whimsy.

By utilizing sound as an art form and medium, my immersive installations and performances confront listeners with acoustic intervals that evoke an internalized rhythmic resonance. Thus the emphasis of my works is on the listeners active role, using the ear and body to contribute to the creative process. By studying the physical phenomena of sound and its physiological perception, I can correlate hearing as passive reception with listening as active concentration. As such, a key component of the minds engagement in my work is its ability to fluctuate—my pieces are not simply to be heard, but to emphasize the body as a listening device and musical instrument.

My motivation is to add a tactile dimension to sound and disseminate the concept that art must be understood to be enjoyed. I aspire to realize others unconventional ideas through immersive media, to invoke their imaginations and reveal the accessibility of sound art. By bringing people as physically close to immersive systems as possible, I hope to lessen the distance between sound and the human body.

At Bard College, I have produced installations and performances to accentuate the corporeal impact of sonic vibration. I created immersive experiences using self-made analog hardware and computerized electronics that transmitted the waves of the brain and heart into rhythm, accompanied by instruments and sound spectra. My undergraduate thesis involved a six-channel speaker array that emitted an aural architecture of head-borne tones in a 24-foot ear canal. Entirely self-designed and -constructed, the installation incorporated featured sound localization techniques so that my audience could form their own unique and dynamic music, contingent upon their placement within it.

During a residency at The Atlantic Center for the Arts, I studied sound spatialization software to deploy electro-acoustic compositions in octophonic speaker domes. After composing a piece, I inquired into the technology and fabrication of the dome as an installation. By constructing my own sound system with individually-crafted speakers concealed behind silicone-casted ears and sewn into foam-upholstered panels, I contemplated the intimacy of breath. To dissect the noise and find the medley underneath, listeners explored the exhibit, touched its components, and focused on each breath, creating an orchestra when combined. Those involved were implicated in the production as well as forced to confront the physicality of listening to others breaths and having theirs heard, and to question their discomfort.

My ambitious projects have allowed me to question the role of experience and play, to think about spatial environments, and to delve into the process of bringing a multi-sensory vision to life. During my undergraduate studies, I became well-versed in the processes and equipment used in audiovisual works and how to be a part of a creative team with a unified goal. Not only has my background instilled in me an ability to fabricate and execute a project within a time frame, but I also learned to incorporate the perspectives of others in my work.

All photographs by Amanda Hakan for Level.