Featured Client: Charles Morrow Associates
First-time installation creates "urban aviary" in New York City, February 18 - March 27 at N-YHS

A collaboration of two unique artists, working 150 years apart...

"Audubon's Aviary"
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An accomplished musician who was sensitive to sound, John Jay Audubon frequently described birdcalls and songs as an integral part of his species identification.

To suggest Audubon’s observations in the field that enabled him to create his life-like images, there will be periodic birdcalls in a supplementary four-dimensional sound program as part of the exhibit. A short video will underline Audubon’s mastery at encapsulating each bird’s personality and unique physical characteristics in a single image.

A unique sound component, commissioned from sound artist Charlie Morrow of Charles Morrow Associates Inc. will help tell the story of Audubon's genius and the “magnificent obsession” of this buckskin-wearing American ornithologist with a French accent, the world-renowned The Birds of America.
February 18th to March 27, 2005
New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West NYC


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Charles Morrow Associates
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Morrow's team at CMA team built and engineered custom 3D audio systems for “Audubon’s Aviary” by combining a variety of advances and breakthroughs in spatialized sound.

CMA designed and manufactured small sound boxes to be set below individual watercolors. Sensors detect the visitor’s presence and respond with birdsong and bird calls appropriate to the species depicted.

CMA also installed 24 MorrowSound* 3D cuboid loudspeakers in five connected “sound cubes” stretching through Dexter Hall. These speakers provide overall ambience and the 3D sound system driving them creates the effect of birds flying overhead from time to time. The 3D speakers are arrayed both at foot level and 13 feet above to create a unique, fully immersive sound environment.

Morrow is an internationally known pioneer in sound and music who began creating sound works for art galleries and museums in the 1960s in addition to music and sound for commercial records, advertising and film. For years, he made large scale outdoor events with electronic links, radio and TV, including celebrations and world broadcasts for Summer Solstice, city-sized events (e.g., Copenhagen Waves), works for orchestras of like instruments (40 cellos, 60 clarinets, 30 harps), the underwater Concert for Fish, and Toot'n Blink (two fleets of boats commanded by radio DJs.) His art also includes sonic furniture and sculptures as well as live performances.

“My 40 years as a sound artist and museum audio exhibit designer have led to inventing an easy to set up, hide-the-wiring system to distribute and enjoy diverse, spatialized sound works,” said Morrow. “This opens up a whole new set of artistic options.

"The spark created by mixing the very new with the ancient animates my life's work, celebrating nature with art and science. We live in a world of 3D sound, where hearing in all directions is a matter of survival. Just as Audubon painted his pictures to capture his subjects in their natural environment, my 3D soundscapes capture moments in our sound world.

“The Audubon’s Aviary exhibit is one of the first major public demonstrations of what we as artists can do with these new developments in 3D systems,” Morrow said.

Alban Bassuet, Michael Schumacher, Bob Bielecki, Matt Stine, Daniel Nauke and Alexei Lyalin worked with Morrow to produce, program and install the show. Documentation of bird sounds and video footage was generously provided by the Cornell Lab of Ornithological in Ithaca, NY. Flamingo video was provided by The Wildlife Conservation Society.

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*MorrowSound 3D is a trademark of Charles Morrow Associates, Inc. Copyright 2005 Curtis. J Wilson All rights reserved     www.curtiswilson.com    email webmaster