Quarry Sounds is an interactive site specific sound work created for and located in the Cascade Dell within the Quarry Gardens, Whangarei. It was an AwhiWorld Project that was part of a larger group of installations that supported the 12 November 2018 Art + Climate Innovation Event.
Cascade Dell is the home of an organic sculptural work by Chris Booth and Rata Kapa and a beautiful cascading waterfall that gives the dell its name. The work is designed to support the space and amplify its special spirit while also complementing the sounds that exist there already.
Some of the sounds included in this work were sourced from a previous installation involving children from Sistema. The work brought their voices into a new space to support a kaupapa involving youth and the environment.
In addition, new site specific sounds were recorded, created and mixed by Kelly Kahukiwa (a well-regarded Northland artist) and myself. Kelly’s taonga puoro (treasured Maori music/sounds made from hand carved instruments) and whakairo (carvings) sat comfortably in the strange stillness of the glen and came to life in remarkable ways as it became dark.
I used audio exciters to resonate sound out of the wood from the carvings, rather than traditional speakers. This meant that the babbling brook was still heard and our work merged thoughtfully with the environment, rather than overpowering it.