In March 2008 Arup London hosted The Lost Frequency: In Search of Tranquillity. The event was the culmination of our Tranquillity is a State of Mind research project and drew together contributions from the research team in a performance presentation, exhibition and an installation in the Arup Acoustics SoundLab.
We began work on the Tranquillity is a State of Mind project in September 2008. Working in partnership with Sustrans, the sustainable transport charity, and with funding from the Wellcome Trust, we brought together a research team comprising a cognitive neuroscientist, a clinical audiologist and two acousticians to explore the relationship between sound, health and the environment.
The project produced a number of outcomes and these were drawn together and presented at The Lost Frequency event. The event was hosted by Arup and introduced by Malcolm Shepherd, CEO of Sustrans, with a keynote address by Max Dixon, urban planner and author of the GLA Sounder Cities noise policy document.
The main focus of the event was a performance presentation in which we described the research process as two interwoven journeys: the journey of sound from the ear to the brain and a hypothetic journey along a riverbank from a meadow to a weir. Building on a body of fictional accounts in which characters journey in search of utopia (e.g. Thomas More’s Utopia, William Morris’ News From Nowhere and Edward Bellamy’s Looking Backwards), we used the device of the river walk as a framework through which to explore the notion of ‘tranquillity’ as a state of mind. Combining a live narrative by Frances Crow with an immersive 8-channel sound environment that integrated interviews with the research team, field recordings and designed sound, the two journeys coalesced in our Cochlea Unwound proposal. The Cochlea Unwound is intended as a permanent ‘listening device’, which we hope to site at Diglis Weir in Worcester.
The event took place at the Shears & Emmerson room on 31st March 2010.