Sound Whispers

FIELD, NCAD, Dublin, Ireland.
Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland.

        Sound Whispers is divided into two sound works: Ancient Whispers and Sea Whispers.

        Ancient Whispers is a sound experience that invites participants to close their eyes and focus solely on their auditory sense. Through the use of various natural elements, sounds that accompanied humans since the beginning of their evolution are reproduced. Stones, wood, and tree branches are some of the objects used to produce these sounds. Through energetic strikes and beats in the air, these sounds reach visitors, inviting them to embark on a journey to the origins of our specie and its primary artistic activities. This performance also features the sound of one of the first sound instruments created by humans: the bullroarer. A piece typically made in the past with materials such as wood or bone and given an oval shape. A string is threaded through a hole at one end, allowing the object to be held at a certain distance and to struck it in the air to produce its characteristic and deep buzzing sound, connecting us with our ancestors and our first steps in the art of sound.

                                   Image: Luis Enrique Martín, NCAD FIELD, Thomas Street, Dublin, Ireland.

        This immersive experience invites us to link with the beginnings of human evolution and its connection to nature.

        Sea Whispers
is an artwork that seeks to displace the sounds of the sea into the city. This mobile artwork, hung in delicate balance and constructed with sea shells, bamboo, and light polythene sheets, is a beautiful example of how art can connect us with the natural world and provide us with a sense of peace and tranquility even if it is not visually accessible.

Images: Luis Enrique Martín, NCAD FIELD, Thomas Street, Dublin, Ireland.

        A handmade sea shell chime is suspended from one end of the bamboo stick, creating a kind of natural chandelier that gently sways in the breeze. As the wind blows the artwork, the sea shells tinkle and clink, and the polythene sheets move freely at the other end of the structure, creating a sound that is reminiscent of waves breaking on the shore.

Image by FruitFrame (2022) at Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland.

Image by FruitFrame (2022) at Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland.

        Martín, inspired by his own experiences living in a bustling urban environment, aimed to produce a calming and peaceful atmosphere in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city. This site-specific work was suspended from steel beams behind a thin wooden wall that separates it from the sidewalk in Thomas Street in Dublin city, out of sight of pedestrians. Doing so allows the sounds of the sea to be displaced without distraction, creating a truly immersive experience for those who take the time to seek it out.

Image by FruitFrame (2022) at Project Arts Centre, Dublin, Ireland.

        One of the main benefits of natural sounds is their ability to promote a sense of relaxation and calm. Studies have found that exposure to the sound of the sea can reduce stress and anxiety, lower blood pressure, and even improve sleep quality. The sound of the sea has been shown to have a therapeutic effect on our mental and physical well-being.

        In addition to promoting relaxation, the sound of the sea can also provide a sense of connection to the natural world. While Sea Whispers is a captivating piece of art in its own right, it also serves as a reminder of the importance of natural sounds, and also, of the beauty that exists beyond the city limits. For those who live in cities, it can be easy to forget about the beauty and wonder of the natural world and artworks like this one can help us reconnect with the natural world.

Image source - Project Arts Centre (2022)