“Vocal Vibrations” is an installation which invites the public to discover the relationship between sound vibrations stimulated by voice and their effects on human physiology. It’s a sensory experience, an initiatory journey and an interactive path to follow.
Tod Machover, composer/ inventor and Neri Oxman, architect/designer, both from MIT Media Lab, are exploring the question of the voice and its impact on the body. “We know that health has an impact on the voice. Conversely, can the voice affect our physical and mental conditioning?” For this exhibition, William Boujon & Julien Benayoun, the creative duo of Bold-design, imagined the scenography at Le Laboratoire. Opened since 2007, Le Laboratoire is a contemporary art and design center in central Paris, where artists and designers experiment at frontiers of science; an extraordinary place founded and directed by David Edwards.
First, Bold-design created a meditative chamber, a kind of chapel, into which visitors enter. They hear a meditative, multilayered composition by Tod Machover that weaves together multiple voices and other sources in a transfixing sonic journey. Visitors can stand, sit on a carpet or pillows, and listen carefully – concentrating on a single meditative tone surrounded by evolving textures, before they are invited by a guide to enter into a preparatory tunnel.
The tunnel alternates between transparency and translucency that changes as the visitor moves, until entering a central space. This tunnel is both visual and sonorous, made to enhance a sense of isolation, and yet freedom.The visitor is encourage to enter into a unique vocal experience, with his own voice, clasping the ORB.
The oRb, designed by bold-design, was imagined by Tod Machover and David Edwards in a conversation in late 2013. Since then, Tod Machover and his students at the MIT Media Lab and bold-design in Paris have developed the oRb.This magical sphere is central to Vocal Vibrations . The visitor holds it in his hands, during six minutes he explores his voice by experimenting and interacting with Tod Machover’s carefully customized composition. Every vocal exploration changes the sound and the vibration, allowing the participant to enter in a special meditative relationship with his vocal vibrations. The oRb becomes an incarnation and a materialization of the voice. Bold-design draws inspiration from the symbolism of the stones in a Zen garden. Porcelain, a mineral material, has been chosen for its tactile and vibratory properties.