Various Artists: SoundDome (Rattle)

 |   |  1 min read

Various Artists: SoundDome (Rattle)

As with a few of the more challenging albums on the Rattle label, we offer these words just by way of introduction only to this collection of sonic art pieces by five New Zealand composers who work in academia and/or create work for soundtracks.

The album comes with a 10 minute DVD interview with John Coulter who has created the SoundDome, “an instrument which has inside it 25 speakers” which enables sound to be placed anywhere in the three dimensional space without reverb.

He explains how the works we hear were created specifically for the instrument of the SoundDome, so it is composing for the space and creating sound for this unique environment.

The album's pieces come with stereo, 5.1 and binaural options for listening and engagement.

There is a wide swathe of sound explored here which includes spoken word set against electronic sounds, field recordings, vocalisations and loops (Coulter and others' reminisces of a hay-bailing and a rural childhood on While the Sun Shines); recordings from the natural world as the backdrop to spoken word (Chris Cree Brown's tranquil and intelectual Transcendence); most of the above in John Elmsley's five-part suite of sonics entitled Soundings, as well as – and we are being glib – Signal by David Downes which seems to capture R2-D2 in conversation and a group of men shouting in desperation.

There also a strident and – in this context -- distinctively aggressive sound piece by Paul Smith for cello and electronics on the dramatic 11 minute Logos.

This is a deep and wide exploration of the possibilities of pure sound, emotional and physical space, and very personal encounters with all those.

And another courageous release by Rattle which is certainly aimed for a select audience, nearly all of whom will be fellow travellers in these worlds and doubtless excited by the possibilities of the SoundDome.

This album can be heard at Rattle here where there are links to bandcamp for purchase and to the SoundDome site.


These Further Outwhere pages are dedicated to sounds beyond songs, ideas outside the obvious, possibiltiies far from pop. Start the challenge here.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Further Outwhere articles index

BRIAN ENO AND THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE: Obscure but not oblique

BRIAN ENO AND THE SOUNDS OF SILENCE: Obscure but not oblique

By happy chance recently I pulled out a vinyl album which has changed my listening habits for these past weeks. It was released 30 years ago but has always struck me as timeless: it is Brian... > Read more

Al Fraser: Toitu te Puoro (Rattle)

Al Fraser: Toitu te Puoro (Rattle)

About a third the way through these sometimes weightless, sometime deeply grounded taonga puoro instrumentals – which are spacious and evoke states of mind as much as environments -- I... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Regina Spektor: Begin to Hope (Warners)

Regina Spektor: Begin to Hope (Warners)

No tickets on myself, but I heard of Spektor about three or four years ago when I was in London seeing one of my sons: he was working with the producer Gordon Raphael who had produced the Strokes,... > Read more

Elsewhere Art . . .  Don Cunningham

Elsewhere Art . . . Don Cunningham

This is the kind of collage which gets you tossed off social media, I am told. It was created to illustrate a piece about the band leader Don Cunningham and his album Something for Everyone.... > Read more