ITHACA – 5,000 miles
2020 forced us to stay at home, confined to our own little corner of the world.
Commissioned and produced by Lighthouse to take place during Brighton Festival, 5,000 miles is an immersive 360-degree audio experience that transports you to another place through the evocative sounds of another country and culture.
Listen as your world changes around you through a soundscape created using spatial audio technology and ambisonic 3D recording.
The installation is a ten minute audio experience that takes in the sounds of six different locations in Taiwan and Thailand, as local people describe their feelings about the places that you are listening to.
At Doi Suthep temple in Thailand, a local visitor described the comfort they get from visiting “The temple, it means a lot for the Thai Buddhists, even me because I’m a Buddist as well. Many times when I feel upset or I feel something is not right to my life, I have to go to temple because it means something to me – it means a lot sometimes. Normally offering the food to the monk, have a monk share it, or even doing meditation that could make me feel a lot better and also it makes me feel happy when you can do something for somebody else, you know, make a good thing for your life and for somebody else’s life as well”.
In the mountainous jungle terrain of the Nanatou Mountains in Taiwan the recordist spoke to a local resident who emphasised the importance of the sounds and wildlife to them “I really love this place. When I first came here I didn’t even want to sleep – I just sat outside, watched the stars, the moon and listened to the sound of nature. I still love this space. I’m even loving it more and more because I feel, besides just the beauty of nature, I feel I become good friends with the animals here. The tree climbing lizards who watch me through the windows. And I can hear many, many sounds – from nature. The sounds of eagles, the sounds of frogs after rains. Probably hundreds or thousands of frogs together. The sound of calling. And the sounds of cicadas, the sounds of bird calls. Wow. It’s so good, wonderful to live in the mountains. I feel completely enriched here”.
The locations featured in 5,000 Miles are:
Taiwan – Nanatou Mountains (The sounds of the mountainous jungle terrain of Nanatou at dawn)
Taiwan – Lungshan Temple (The early morning sounds of Lungshan Temple at 6AM)
Taiwan – Wulai Old Street, Taipei (The sounds of everyday life on Wulai Old Street, Taipei)
Thailand – Doi Suthep Temple (The sounds of nature surrounding the site of Doi Suthep Temple in Thailand)
Thailand – Announcement over small town tannoy system
Thailand – Fields surrounding Chiang Mai
Thailand recordist: Alex Boyesen
Taiwan recordist: James A Holland
5,000 miles is part of Digital Democracies, a national partnership project exploring technology-enabled art in public spaces to foster a new generation of radically inclusive public cultural experiences. Digital Democracies is led by Threshold Studios and brings together Frequency Festival of Digital Culture, Freedom Festival and Brighton Digital Festival (Lighthouse).