Aquacoustica (2010 – 2012) is an aquanautic experimental trance ambient music experience realized by Ulrich Krieger and Clay Chaplin.
The video below is a compilation video from three performances Ulrich and I gave for Machine Project in Los Angeles.
A collaborative project of underwater musical performance and state-of-the-art ‘over-water’ live-electronic signal processing. Being a passionate and experienced scuba diver for more than 10 years, Ulrich Krieger will dive into a pool in full scuba gear, tank and all, for at least 60 minutes. He will sit on the ground or swim around, producing underwater sounds with metal, stone, plastic, and other ‘waterproof’ objects, including ‘underwater didjeridus’, underwater singing, and plastic instruments, like blue toy saxophones.These sounds will be picked up by hydrophones and transmitted to Clay Chaplin, sitting above water, treating and signal processing theses sounds, creating an electronic ambient soundscape. This soundscape will be audible through underwater speakers to swimming and diving audiences as well as through normal ‘air’ speakers for an audience on land. The sounds travel back and forth between the medium water and air, therefore undergoing acoustic changes that can’t be influenced by the performers. The listening experience under and above water will clearly be very different.
Two short remarks on the scientific and philosophic background of the project:
1) The project makes use of and shows in an entertaining and creative way the different acoustic properties of different media. E.g.: sound travels 4 times as fast in water than in air; water filters different frequency spectra than air; water has a different diffusion quality than air.
2) California is a state of water and desert. On one hand California has a wonderful coastline, contrasting the amazing desert landscape. On the other hand this project should remind us, that we are always short of drinkable water in Southern California, even if modern technology makes us forget that fact. Our water is being transported over hundreds of miles. The convenience of having water come out of the tap whenever we want is a modern illusion.