Silophone

Photographer Diana Shearwood took these images in a haunting photoessay documenting the Silophone. (Yes, “haunting” and “grain silo” can go together.) See the “Reservoir” section of the Silophone site.

Music itself may be ephemeral, but it’s deeply connected to the spaces in which it’s performed and heard. You’ll notice that space all the more readily if it’s, say, a giant, cavernous grain silo, and you can access the space not only in person but over the Internet. And, really, you can’t call yourself an audiophile if you don’t have a grain silo handy for listening.

JollyRogered writes with this gem from the Audiooddities list. It’s a chance to hear an online performance of the digitally-connected grain silo, the Silophone:

Announcing a special online performance by Lee Rosevere, scheduled for July 16, 2007 at 9:30pm EST.

The performance will be an exclusive live internet event, where Lee will perform new original material from his home studio and stream it to the Silophone.

The Silo #5 is an abandoned grain storage facility in the port of Montréal. From the website:

“Silophone makes use of the incredible acoustics of Silo #5 by introducing sounds, collected from around the world using various communication technologies, into a physical space to create an instrument which blurs the boundaries between music, architecture and net art. Sounds arrive inside Silo #5 by telephone or internet. They are then broadcast into the vast concrete grain storage chambers inside the Silo. They are transformed, reverberated, and coloured by the remarkable acoustics of the structure, yielding a stunningly beautiful echo. This sound is captured by microphones and rebroadcast back to its sender, to other listeners and to a sound installation outside the building. Anyone may contribute material of their own, filling the instrument with increasingly varied sounds.”

Musicians have created pieces for the Silo in the past, but in this event, an exciting element that makes this even more unique is the fact that anyone who is at the Silophone website can contribute to the concert, either by playing recorded content provided by the websites users, or by phoning or uploading individual sounds. These sounds will be heard simultaneously with Lee’s performance, making it a truly unique performance. The performance should last 35-40 minutes.

The results of the show will be recorded and released via archive.org. We encourage you to log on to Silophone at 9:30pm EST on July 16, 2007 for this event and we also encourage anyone to participate in the performance. (Real audio required to listen, Flash required to participate) .

To call the Silophone from North America: 1.514.844.5555 From the rest of the world: 001.514.844. 5555 Wait until the second ring, then start talking.

Silophone.net Site, including the ability to play the Silophone online, and lots of documentation

  • Vanceg

    Wow, I'm really glad to see that {The User]'s work is still going strong! I have really enjoyed running sounds thrugh the Silophone. If you get a chance, check out the Silophone recording by [The User] as well as their Symphony for Dot-Matrix Printers – It's really quite astounding. Looking forward to hearing this new work in the Silophone. Thanks for the tip!

  • http://www.electricstone.com/ Andrew Stone

    Yes it's great the Silophone is still going. I remember when it first came out, the net was still fresh enough and the idea of networking people from across the globe into a collective aural space was mindblowing.

    Good to see it is evolving in a way.

  • http://rekkerd.org loops

    Reminds me of Tank-FX (site seems down at the moment, it was on CDM in 2005…)

  • http://chrisbellexperience.com C_Bell

    I saw the dot matrix printers in Pittsburgh and it was awesome. I always wanted to use Silophone. This is a handy reminder.

  • http://www.createdigitalmusic.com Peter Kirn

    Thanks, loops, I was trying to remember that … knew there was something similar I had posted.

  • http://genjisiraisi.com Genji, pushtobreak

    Silophone is awesome. Just another reason to love Canada.

  • Alc

    Tank-FX was actually located at http://www.tank-fx.de/ last I checked, the page seems slow/down at the moment though. Shame as it was a hell of a technical achievement.