2020 – Proceedings of the 17th Sound and Music Computing Conference (SMC 2020), Torino, June 24th – 26th 2020
Varoutsos, G., 2020. Peace Wall Belfast: Spatial audio representation of Divided Spaces and soundwalks, in: Proceedings of the 17th Sound and Music Computing Conference, Torino, June 24th – 26th 2020. Presented at the Sound and Music Computing Conference (SMC 2020), Zenodo, pp. 123–130. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3898717
In West Belfast lays the Peace Wall Belfast, a manifestation of multifaced messages on political, religious, and communal ideals represented by physical properties of cement, metal, fences, gates, and artwork. There have been discussions on initiatives to take down the walls, however, this remains a fragile state. When thinking about the connectivity of the surrounding spaces and communities, the placing of the Peace Wall(s) blocks any opportunity of cross-communication and produces disorienting effects. However, through alternative artistic approaches focusing on sound, there can be innovative capabilities of sharing these stories and spaces with spatial audio techniques. To use spatial audio to change the perception of these spaces brings forth alternative periods of reflections from stimulating another sensory tool other than sight. Forming two unique listening experiences that focus on the virtual abilities to combine auditory spaces into an immersive installation environment and binaural soundwalks to design site-specific augmentation of the sonic properties of the Peace Wall’s surrounding spaces. These projects aim at using spatial audio and artistic practice to plan new approaches for conflict transformation in Northern Ireland.
Click the title for more information on each of the research projects:
Peace Wall Belfast Soundwalks by Georgios Varoutsos is a binaural immersive experience with six soundscapes composed to highlight relationships between realism and perception. These are based on different sonic markers or events occurring in the areas of the Peace Wall Belfast, in Northern Ireland. The intention is to engage with specific areas around the wall to encourage new understandings, as well documents perception of sounds usually overlooked.
Ultimately, these soundscapes question how we listen to what we’re seeing, and what we’re seeing is it being heard?
Divided Spaces by Georgios Varoutsos is an audio immersive piece focusing on the Peace Wall between the Falls and Shankill road in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Representing connectivity of spaces and experiences through sound to highlight Past, Present, and Future relations with the Peace Wall(s). It hosts an immersive sonic round-table discussion on controversial issues concerned with the history of the ‘Troubles’ and the status of Peace Wall(s) around the country.
The piece compresses the large surface areas surrounding the Peace Wall into a room listening experience. Demonstrating the separation and isolation from either side’s community spaces.