Sonic Labyrinth invites kids and their families into an immersive journey of discovery through sound. Each turn uncovers new experiences with special listening devices and mysterious objects that enable hearing sounds on the edge of perception.
Hear the sound of water gurgling beneath the surface, feel the vibrations of a giant sonic bridge, get into bed and have a listen to a harp that only you can detect… In an otherworldly realm inhabited by the labyrinth keepers, the participants choose their own adventure.
Concept, Design and Direction: Justin Marshall & Aviva Endean
Performers: Afsaneh Torabi, Dan Witton, Renato Vacirca
Lighting Design: Bronwyn Pringle
Interactive Design: Bob Zeal
Fabrication: Dale Holden, Nara Demasson
Castlemaine State Festival
Melbourne Fringe Festival
Art Play children’s art centre
This project was seeded by City of Melbourne through Art Play’s New Ideas Lab and supported by Creative Victoria
Aviva Endean and Justin Marshall share a deep fascination of sound and interactive artworks, focusing on creating spaces for deep listening as well as the playful engagement of the audience. Their debut work for children ‘I Am Hear’ was awarded Best Kids Work at The Melbourne Fringe Festival 2018.
FURTHER DETAIL ON THE WORK
Audiences move through a labyrinth which is filled with 12 experiences. There are no instructions as to how to interact with the objects, but there are performers who are inside the labyrinth who help guide the play with sound and movement, and the children also often share their knowledge and what they have discovered with their friends and strangers alike. The only rule in the Sonic Labyrinth is that there are no words. You can use you voice in any other way, but without words.
The 12 experiences are all interactive, some are experienced alone, and some can be experienced my many people at the same time.
- Listening with the soles of your feet: The entrance to the Sonic Labyrinth is a long dark corridor. The floor is covered in surfaces of all different textures. As you walk along them a special set of ‘hear muffs’ drags a tube along the ground allowing you to hear the sound of each different surface, as you feel them with your bare feet.
- The giant spring drum: Crawl inside, lie down and be immersed in the intergalactic sounds on the spring drum. When you have finished listening, you can play it for your friends.
- Head in a box: This mysterious object invites you to stick your head inside a geometric mirror box and play with the sound of your voice reflected in a never-ending echo chamber.
- The Sonic Bridge: Walk the plank! As your get further and further along the narrow beam, you will hear the pitch of the strings rise in trepidation, and feel the vibrations through your feet. Make it all the way along and you can play for the next risk-taker.
- Goodnight harp: A secret room is revealed, where you find a bed to crawl into. A musician tucks you into bed, puts a special set of ‘hear muffs’ on you and plays a strange lullaby for you on a ‘bone-conduction harp’ that only you can hear.
- Cymatic Pool: Vibrations make incredible patterns form on the surface of a glowing pool of water. Control what you see and what you hear with interactive light sensors and torches.
- The Sonic Web: It looks like a laser maze, but if you touch a beam it will make a sound! Try to get through silently, or get stuck in the web playing spacey synthesiser sounds.
- Voice in a Bucket: Sing into a funny looking tube and your voice will mysteriously emerge from a nearby bucket suspended in the air
- Underwater listening: Hear the squelch and gurgles of underwater sounds with a special set of ‘hear muffs’ than enable you to hear and feel the hidden sounds beneath the surface.
- Moon Rock: A hanging dodecahedron shoots out beams of light. When you cover a beam with your hand, you can hear and feel it respond to your touch. See what happens if you can cover all the beams together with your friends.
- Melodic Winds: A special set of ‘hear muffs’ invites you to hear the sound of wind. Move your head to catch a rift of wind to play a melody that only you can hear.
- Tingle Fingers: Exit the Labyrinth with one last chance to play all together! Put on a pair of gloves with very long, thin sticks attached to each finger. Step through a pool of bell bowls and making them ring and tinkle all the way along your final part of the journey.