Junto Project 0528: Landscape Architecture [repost]

Someone suggested that Suss Müsik repost our contributions to the weekly Disquiet Junto projects, because they enjoy reading the explanations of the tracks. While you’re reading the original post, make sure you check out the other contributors’ works as well.

In 1925, Helen Keller challenged members of the Williamson County Lions Club, located about 20 miles southwest of Nashville (USA), to do more than just be business leaders. Keller instilled upon them the responsibility of better serving their community by adopting a philosophy that acknowledges accessible biodiversity. With that message came a commitment to providing experiences that a blind person could appreciate, even something as simple as being outdoors on a sunny day.

The result was a sensory park for the blind, located behind Grassland Elementary School and cared for by local volunteers. This small but inviting nirvana offers a feast for all senses, even if a visitor isn’t able to use one or more of them. A circular walkway features different stations, each devoted to exploring the possibilities of the soundscape, with natural earmarks (bubbling fountains, buzzing bees) helping visitors navigate the grounds without having to rely on visual clues.

Suss Müsik considered how auditory clues might be utilized to prevent blind travelers from trampling on fragile vegetation. The result is this strange and thankfully short piece. All the sounds are composed entirely from VCV Rack. Midi inputs were run from a Leap Motion controller, programmed to respond to gestures that move from side-to-middle. An Electro-Harmonix 8-Step CV sequencer controlled a Meris Enzo pedal from the mixer’s send channel.

Suss Müsik’s performance of this piece looks ridiculous, so of course there’s a video of it. Enjoy.

The piece is titled Liminality, a word to describe the status of being on a threshold. The image is a refactored bucolic scene somewhere in Pennsylvania.

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