Using the ancient myth of Orpheus, video projection and three-dimensional sound, a UT Dallas professor is examining the relationship of sound to perception of movement in Acoustic Shadows, an Exploration of the Sense of Space.
Acoustic Shadows is an audio-visual immersive and interactive installation that depicts Orpheus surrounded by shadows of the underworld consumed by the shadow of his wife, Eurydice.
In the myth, the gifted and musical Orpheus travels to the underworld after his wife dies to beg Hades to allow his wife to return to earth. After violating a condition made by Hades, Orpheus loses his wife forever.
Dr. Frank Dufour worked on the project with his wife, Kristin Lee Dufour, a creative art director and international consultant for visual communications.
“The viewer is enveloped in a multisensory, reactive system that actually ‘listens’ for changes in the environment generated by your presence and movement,” said Dufour, assistant professor of sound design in UT Dallas’ Arts and Technology program.
“This results in noticeable changes to the sound and projected images. Your body reflects and absorbs sound waves to create the auditory manifestation or form of silent movement, which, in this context, is termed ‘Acoustic Shadows.’”
The exhibit is currently on display in The Center for the Creative Connections at the Dallas Museum of Art until April 2012. Acoustic Shadows made its debut at The Vasarely Foundation in Aix-en-Provence, France, earlier this year.
More about Dr. Dufour’s research is available in SoundEffects, a journal on sound and sound experience.