Audience sound experiment

Kate stands center stage. On the table in front of her is a binaural microphone and a handheld digital audio recorder.

Kate: We’re going to make a recording together using a binaural microphone. When you listen to binaural recordings they sound like you are standing in the middle of those sounds. I love this stuff. Let me get this gear on.

Kate puts the binaural microphone in her ears and plugs it into the audio recorder. She moves off stage and into the audience. She stands in the middle aisle or makes a space for herself in the audience with the help of the audience members.

Kate: Let me hit record.

Kate hits record. She breathes deeply a few times.

Kate: Would you all join me in breathing deeply? Let’s do it three times.

Kate and the audience breathe deeply three times.

Kate: All right.

Kate stands up and finds the person in the right back corner of the audience.

Kate: Starting with this lovely person back here [Kate gestures to the person], you are going to say the word “susurration” and as soon as you finish, the person sitting next to you will say “sursurration,” and so on, snaking through all of the rows, until the last person says it in the front row.

Okay. Go.

The audience says sursurration in a snaking order.

Kate: Okay, now we’re going to do the wave. When I say go, everyone on the right side will start the wave, and the wave will run over to the left side. When it reaches the left side, go ahead and send the wave back to the right. We’ll do this twice.

Okay. Go.

The audience does the wave from right to left, then left to right. They will do this two times.

Kate: Last one. We’re all going to hum together. After we start humming, I’d like you to choose one of the people near to you and try to match their tone with your humming. If they change their tone, you should change your tone. We’ll do this for one minute. I’ll raise my hand when you can stop.

Okay. Go.

The audience hums together. After one minute, Kate raises her hand.

Kate walks back up on stage and stops the recording.

Kate: Thanks everyone. An audio file will be available on my website for you to listen to this audience sound experiment. Be sure to listen with headphones.