close

www.sittinginachamber.com is Nicolas Epe’s KHM graduate project.

In the original piece ‘I am sitting in a room’ by Alvin Lucier (1969), the artist records a sample of his speaking voice through a microphone onto tape, then plays the tape recording back into the same room through a loudspeaker and records it again. The new recording is then played back and recorded again. This process is repeated many times until the resonant frequencies of the room itself overpower the original sound of speech. The work ends as a purely musical, pulsing drone.

The processes for the recordings of this website were quite similar. A speaking voice sample was recorded in a vocal booth. This audio file was the starting sample to be recycled in the anechoic chambers of TH Köln (Jan 19 2018), RUB Bochum (Jan 30 2018) and HS Düsseldorf (Feb 2 2018). A Pure Data patch automated the recording process, so the speaking voice sample was played back through a loudspeaker and recorded, then played back and recorded again. This process was repeated 250 times. Due to cable lines through the wall, this was possible to execute without one person sitting in the anechoic chamber while recording. The end of the work is characterized by a drone whose frequency is different for each chamber.

The recordings of each chamber can be played back synchronously with the play button on the left side. The circle button in the middle of the triangle gives you the chance to change the volume of each room. When recentered (button on the left), each recording of the chamber is played at the same volume. All 250 iterations of each room are played in one audio file. The audio files of each room are normalised, which means that the loudest point of each audio file is 0db. The volume was not affected during the recording process or in post production, meaning that the volume curve of each recording was created naturally and is different to the volume curve of the other anechoic chambers. For faster preloading, the files were converted to 128kbps MP3. With the red square on the timeline below the triangle, you can skip through the 250 iterations. One white stroke in the timeline marks 10 iterations. Sometimes it happens that the audio files are not perfectly in sync - to resolve this, it should help to click the resync button. In another metric terminology, one iteration is one ‘Alvin‘.

The website is built with HTML5 and works on Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera or Internet Explorer. Troubleshooting for Safari is in progress.

Use headphones or loudspeakers with an accurate low end to be able to hear the resonant frequencies.

Click here for photos of the recordings.

For further information, contact info@sittinginachamber.com

Equipment used:
Microphone - Schoeps MK 2S
Loudspeaker - Neumann KH 120 A (linear setting)
Interface - RME Fireface 802
Recording Device - Macbook Pro + Pure Data

Thanks to:
Prof. Dr. Christoph Pörschmann & collegues (TH Köln)
Marius Markgraf & collegues (RUB Bochum)
Christian Epe & collegues (HS Düsseldorf)
Tobias Hartmann (PD patcher, recording engineer)
Dirk Specht (recording engineer)
Sebastian Thewes (website programming)
Prof. hans w. koch (academic supervisor)
Prof. Bill Dietz (academic supervisor)
Luis Negron van Grieken (academic supervisor)
Anthony Moore (additional supervisor)
My Family (car provision)

© Epe/KHM (2018)

close


Recording at TH Köln


Recording at TH Köln


Recording at RUB Bochum


Recording at HS Düsseldorf


Recording at HS Düsseldorf

© Epe/KHM (2018)