Sub Ambient Sound Lab

What is Sub Ambient Sound?

Sub Ambient Sound refers to sounds discovered through excavation. Through contact with environmental and object surfaces, these excavations reveal sounds from below the surface of the ambient soundscape. In both built and natural environments what may appear to the eye as inanimate, is in fact capable of resonance and a sub ambient sonic life; an existence only revealed to the listener who mines for it.

The Sub Ambient Sound Lab workshop invites the public to build their own listening scopes, explore local places and mine for sub ambient sounds. The handmade listening scopes made in the first part of the workshop incorporated piezo discs, which are easily hacked from everyday objects (or grown from Rochelle salt). The second part of the workshop involves participants exploring their local environments with the listening scope; this becomes a method of knowing and mapping a place and its matter.

Sub Ambient Sound Lab builds on the experiments of John Cage and Nicholas Collins. It explores Fluxus modes of mapping and finds meaning in the philosophies of DIY Hacker Culture and Malcolm McCullough’s Ambient Commons. Early findings include promising outcomes for creating direct experiences to inform sonic knowing, extractions of captivating sound textures and opportunities for the project to explore both place and memory.

It’s such a different visceral experience…it almost takes you out of your body in a different way than visual does. That sense of awareness is super-powerful.”

Toni-Lee Sangastiano, workshop participant

“This is kind of an experiment for me in endeavoring into the unknown, which is always exciting.”

Monica Callan, workshop participant

Workshop Press:

Seven Days Newspaper

Burlington Free Press

If you are interested in hosting the Sub Ambient Sound Lab workshop at your event or institution, please contact us. It is available for higher educational institutions, festivals and conferences.

Sub Ambient Sound Lab Workshop