Spencer Museum of Art The University of Kansas

Sounding Circle by Jason Charney

July 19 - September 30, 2012 | INcube Studio made possible through the
generous support of
el dorado inc.

Sounding Circle is an interactive audio installation: a wishing well, an icebreaker, and a participatory musical machine.

When participants enter its space, they are presented with a written prompt that is projected on the wall in front of them. Participants are encouraged to respond thoughtfully to the prompt, speaking into a microphone. Their recorded answer echoes around them, becoming increasingly manipulated by dynamic programmed transformations. The sounds expand in concentric circles, like the ripples on the surface of water when a coin is tossed in.

Sounding Circle may record participants’ responses, and later replay them unprocessed while users listen to their own transformed recordings. Someone may hear a stranger explain their life philosophy while they listen to their own description of the ideal pizza.

Anyone can submit new prompts to the installation by tweeting with the hashtag #soundingcircle. Their prompts will be stored and displayed alongside their Twitter username, so future participants can respond to them. Users without a Twitter account can submit their prompts in the comment box below.

Sounding Circle is meant to foster dialogue and reflection. By hearing their own words repeated and changed, participants consider their responses closely as their voices become less a vehicle for content and more a generator of music. As they stand and listen in the Circle, they connect with others who have also wandered into its space.

This installation takes place in the Spencer Museum’s experimental INcube Studio located on the main floor (third floor) next to the Print Room.

Jason Charney (’12 BM Music Composition/Theory) is a composer for acoustic and electronic media. He will begin a master’s degree in composition and computer music at the Peabody Institute of The Johns Hopkins University in Fall 2012. He is the inaugural recipient of the 2011 Jack and Lavon Brosseau Creativity Award for his project Sounding Circle.


Submitted Comments

Which was your favorite birthday and why?Sarah Ann

Why is gender-dependent pay inequity still a reality in 21st century U.S. of A.?!KSPenguin

If someone described you as a sandwich, what kind of sandwich would you be?Marc

How do you like to spend your day off?Marla

What's your favorite tongue-twister?Charm

What kind of car describes you and why?JD

What do you want to be when you grow up?Sherri

What would you do if you won the lottery?Jama

Describe your ideal vacation destination.Lynn C

Is this really art?KCSSara

Does a tree make any noise when it falls, if no one can hear it?Anonymous

What three words would you say to God, and what three words would you want God to say to you?Joy

Pets are not disposable.June

What's your favorite kind of dinosaur and why?Marion S

What's the most thought-provoking word you can think of?Jonah Ark

If you could choose between intelligence or physical fitness, which would you choose?Atom Bombb

Do pigeons get headaches if they walk too fast?Erin Rose

What three words would your friends use to describe you?Marcia

Rhode Island is neither a road nor an island. discuss.Scot Free

You may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not.Pandora's Box

If flowers could talk, what would they say?Funky Winkerbean

What is your spirit animal?Erin

Annerkennungfreude--a pseudo-German word for delighted recognition. E.g. I was checking disquiet.org, when I noticed the musician was from Lawrence, KS, where I spent my grad daze; my annerkennungfreude was multiplied when I found this link to a work at the Spencer; where I had interned in the print room.Drew

Now what?

Could it be you?Mike

Is the glass half-empty or half-full?Michael G

I would not want to belong to any club that would have me for a member.Sean

All posts will be moderated by Museum staff before posted
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