The Shape of Sounds to Come by Rachel Ní Chuinn


Sound is a physical form. Sound waves have physical dimensions and interact dramatically with architectural structures. The ear hears sound as vibrations brush against small hairs inside our heads. This tactile dimension to sound makes it inherently sculptural; it exists in space in a concrete way. A meandering line traces the parallel development of music and our built environment.

Did our neolithic ancestors implement acoustic design 5500 years ago? Architects outline the physics of acoustics and how buildings can shape what we hear. Composer Alvin Lucier describes the details of how a room can be an instrument. Artists, composers and architects consider the subtleties of sound and how they can and should shape our sense of place.

Sven Anderson/Robert Henke/Robert Hensey/Sarah Lappin/Steve Larkin/Alvin Lucier/Gascia Ouzounian/Fiona Smyth/Peter Stitt/Aaron Watson

First broadcast as The Lyric Feature on RTÉ lyric fm on 7th November 2014 
Series Producer RTE Lyric fm: Olga Buckley Production Coordinator: Eoin O'Kelly

Funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the television license fee


Alvin Lucier - I am Sitting in a Room / Alvin Lucier - Vespers / Folk Recording from the Isle of Lewis - Stroudwater / Rachel Ní Chuinn - After the Lights / Michael Gordon & Icebreaker - Trance / JS Bach - Fugue in G minor / Robert Fayrfax - Maria plena virtutate / Varese - Poeme Electronique / Rachel Ní Chuinn - Teufelsberg Recording / Isobel Anderson - Better the Devil (from a project by Fionnuala Fagan and Isobel Anderson called Songs of the City: Sailortown)  / The Necks - Fatal