Mural Sound Art
We have found The Unity game development platform to be a terrific tool for situating and animating audio within spatial sound art. With its image recognition and augmented reality (A/R) features, it also offers a great way to place sound art in the real world. Earful.be is developing an A/R mobile app that adds prepared 3D audio and visual scenes to selected works of public visual art.
Below are screen captures of development underway on the app for garage door murals by Teresa Parod, in our alley in Evanston, IL. As of Spring 2020 this alley behind Thayer and Isabella Streets between Walnut and McDaniel contains 8 murals.
Interest in the project led Ash-har Quraishi and his team to produce a wonderful television piece on these garage murals and their impact to the neighborhood. That video has appeared in various television markets. It is available online from The Denver Channel here:
This A/R scene is over “Trianon”, a mural named for a cafe in Alexandria, Egypt and reminiscent of one in New Orleans. Crowd sounds, passing motorbikes, restaurant sounds of plates and cutlery and New Orleans music are part of the soundtrack. The music was recorded in a Bywater vacant lot after an unofficial parade in New Orleans during Carnival season. The combination of its "New Orleans Sound" and Arabic scales makes it a perfect music for this New Orleans / Alexandria mural. If anyone recognizes or participated in the music, please contact me. I would love to seek your permission and know who to credit.
The owners of this garage wanted a space theme and liked the proposed image. The A/R was looking for a universal message and it is translated here into 8 languages by Google Translate and spoken in various voices from AWS Poly.
This mural, "2319" is on the garage of our house and is a painting of the front of our house. The A/R app uses image recognition to place home movies from our early days into the mural's windows. More recent photos of the family ride on roller-coaster cars around the outside of the house, up and down the trees.
The action on the inside shows our story time upstairs. Downstairs is Sereana and then Julius dancing to Stevie Wonder in the living room. And both are working in the kitchen on lower right. Unfortunately, for copyright reasons, we had to mute the audio from the living room video - which was joyously blasting Stevie Wonder's "Songs In The Key of Life".
This mural patron wanted a scene with palms. The mural by Teresa Parod depicts a Balinese landscape. The soundscape is made from various sounds recorded in Bali, including geckos, motorbikes, cremation procession, and bats.
This patron wanted flowers on her door. Birds always sound great and those that hang with flowers are especially wonderful to watch. This patron is also interviewed about the murals in the Ash-har Quraishi video mentioned above.
This A/R scene is for 3D display or installation for Day of the Dead. The A/R recognizes one of the panels and spawns a flock of images of many of our beloved departed friends and relatives.