The Wind Tunnel as Musical Instrument

PSNEurope, a site devoted to professional audio, visited a WWII-era wind tunnel that was once used for testing aircraft and vehicles. It’s now being used to make music.

For the finished installation, sound designer [Thor McIntyre-Burnie] built a suspended sculptural rig where the test subject would sit, projecting sound and focus back into the tunnel (using both a gramophone horn with unbranded driver andTannoy’s VX12 drivers, driven by Lab.gruppen amps).This theninterplayed with speakers (three TannoyVX8Actives) hidden within the tunnel’s wind veins. While the scale of the propeller is more than enough food for the imagination, the choice of programme material could not be more fitting. McIntyre-Burnie was able to obtain a 1942 BBC recording made in the garden of cellist Beatrice Harrison, who had noticed that the resident nightingales accompanied her whenever she played her instrument there.The live broadcast of the recording was cut short because it accidentally picked up the sound of a bombing raid heading to Europe – and at the time this was deemed a risk to British security.

Read the whole article here.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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