Digital download - 1 track - 40:00 - 668Mg zip file, including .wav, .pdf booklet and .pdf text files. Performed, composed and recorded by Jana Winderen. Photography by Jon Wozencroft.
Out of Range is an audio work based on ultrasound and echolocation used by bats, dolphins and other creatures who operate beyond the range of human hearing – ‘seeing’ with sound, or perhaps ‘hearing’ objects.
All sound is invisible; ultrasound is inaudible. Of course, many species have a greater range of hearing than us humans and also more specific and specialised with complex combinations of the different senses… Creatures on both land and under water produce and/or perceive very high sound frequencies. Some species of insects, birds, fish, and mammals can emit and hear ultrasound, used for communications, hunting and orientation. These creatures operate on a different level of perception to us, in an inaudible range above 20kHz…
Many animals also use the acoustic properties of a space; a bat for example can use the echo from a tower block wall to amplify their calls for mates in the autumn; a toadfish uses the shape of a cave to amplify their calls to protect their habitat. Whales use the different acoustic properties at different depths in the ocean at different pressure levels to send their long distance calls. An astonishing fact about moths is that they have a reflex action with their wings to shut down when they hear the bat echolocation calls… That we reckon that this is so astonishing says something about us…
The mix for the piece is based on ultrasound, hydrophone recordings below the water and also of echolocation sound within audible range. The recordings were made in various locations in Central Park and East River in New York, USA, a forest outside Kaliningrad in Russia, Regents Park in London, UK, and various locations in Madeira, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. The ultrasound is time-stretched to bring it into a frequency range audible for human beings.
Recordings were made on a Pettersson Ultrasound Detector D1000X, Reson 4032 and DPA 8011 hydrophones and 4060 dpa microphones onto a Sound Devices 477T hard disk recorder.
The photographs mirror ‘the audible range’ through a contrast between gateways, portals and sight lines, set against situations where the camera eye cannot make sense of the optical event it is confronted with.
Deutschlandradio Kultur, Redaktion Hörspiel / Klangkunst commissioned the piece for Elektroakustischer Salon: Art’s Birthday 2014, which was performed live at Berghain, Berlin, on Friday 17 January 2014. With thanks to Marcus Gammel.