This new installation in Newcastle allows the user to listen to the sounds of a city…
The Binaudios is a device inspired by binoculars that can be pointed at over 50 different locations seen out of the windows of the Sage Gateshead musical performance centre in Newcastle. Binaudios use a hidden Raspberry Pi computing unit and rotating ‘listening cones’ to convert orientation into a soundscape, revealing the location’s distinct sounds. The sounds were pre-recorded or archived historical sounds from the area, each coded to activate when the Binaudios is pointed to the source.
The user can turn the giant listening cones toward a football stadium to hear the crowd chanting or to the Tyne Bridge to hear King George V’s speech when he opened the bridge in 1928. One can point it towards a park to listen to sounds such as skateboarders or people playing tennis. As the Binaudios are rotated the stereo sounds move from one ear to the other creating a real feeling of listening to the city across the river.
The project is the result of a collaboration between artist Dominic Wilcox and creative technologist James Rutherford in response to Thinking Digital Conference’s context in the music performance centre.
Binaudios is an ongoing exhibition at Sage Gateshead, for more information see here.