Fully immersed into the sound of moving sand

“No one pays much attention to the sounds we live with everyday. People walk around with their headphones on, listening to music. I have made it a practice to explore how musical phenomena exist in the everyday world we live in,” said sound art artist Bill Fontana. The American founding father of sound art has been collecting sounds from natural landscapes and man-made structures around the world since the 1970s. In 2014, the Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation invited the man to bring his art to Abu Dhabi for the Music Festival. Armed with recording equipment such as microphones, hydrophones and vibration sensors and assisted by art students, Fontana collected the sounds of the desert and the Sheikh Zayed bridge – two symbols of Abu Dhabi – to create unique soundscapes for the Festival.

Projecting sand onto the wall
Ever wondered what a desert sounds like? Visitors to Fontana’s Acoustical Visions & Desert Soundings exhibition discovered that the sound of the shifting sands in the dunes is very similar to that of the sea. More than Fontana’s outstanding recordings, it took state-of-the-art audiovisual technology to prove that point. AV expert TechnoPro had installed the very best sound technology, media systems and projectors. Six 8,000 lumens Barco RLM-W8 projectors ensured crisp, clear images of the moving sand particles on the wall.

The feedback from both the organizers and the visitors was very positive, making Fontana’s sound sculpture surely one of the big highlights of the 2014 Abu Dhabi Festival.