Psychoacoustics, geothermals and me

I have now been in Budapest for 9 days, spending much of my time wearing nothing but a swimsuit and a lot of digital technology. Experiments with a hydrophone in the public baths in Budapest are surreal – the range of sounds, the acoustic specificity of each space, and the looks on the faces of the other bathers as I tip-toe into the steaming pools wearing headphones and trailing wires creates an unforgettable experience. Most bathers presume I am checking the temperature or testing the mineral content. That’s fine by me.

Yesterday I also had the privilege of interviewing Paul Oomen – the brains behind 4DSound – a truly innovative initiative that creates moving sound images, in an unlimited spatial continuum. the conversation, and the visit to the ‘space’ has inspired me to think about the presentation of my own work in entirely new ways.

Today brings novel experiences too – later I will meet the German Cultural attaché to Hungary, and later again I shall be harvesting sonic and filmic content at Schechenyi Baths. The image below (not mine) gives a flavour.

images

initial immersion

This morning I went to Lucaks Baths with Katya, (Tamas’ partner) and tested out the kit, the reaction of others to my recording sound and image, and my own feelings about it. It was fab! More tomorrow, and the next day and the next day…

I am at AQB to harvest material for a major new piece focussing on recreation at the various thermal baths in Budapest. In this sense I am imagining water as the social soup and exploring the acoustics of these cavernous spaces as well as our aquatic body language in this quasi-social environment. Ultimately all my work explores subjectivity in relation to environmental politics, always in different ways.

Here is a screenshot from the first bit of underwater footage

test

Boom Boom

I have been in Budapest four full days now, and tomorrow I finally meet Tamas and start filming at Lucaks Baths. I have relished these last few days as I work out where I am in relation to the city around me, and rekindled the ‘love at first sight’ feelings triggered by my first visit in January of this year. My heart went Boom-boom! upon seeing the Liberty Bridge again, and new discoveries are keeping those feelings coming. Below are some of those boom-boom moments.

Liberty Bridge Szabadság híd
Liberty Bridge
Szabadság híd

Danube Kiraly Baths metro station szervitas square up Budapest Hotel In the Buda hills