Musician creates riverside ‘sound benches’ to enhance the sounds of mother nature
Visitors to rural stretches of the River Odra will be able to absorb the sounds of nature this summer thanks to shell-like ‘sound-benches’ that will enhance all of mother nature’s chirping, tweeting, croaking and singing.
The first five benches are due to be ready in July or August, and, being mobile, will be moved up and down the river, allowing people to experience the Odra’s sounds in different locations.
Shell-like in design the benches are designed to collect sound and bounce them into the ears of people sitting down.
“The acoustic lenses will focus the sound waves in one place,” said Michał Zygmunt, a musician and composer from Wrocław, and the man behind the project, adding that this will “enhance the ambient sounds” and that a “culture of listening” is on its way.
“The first sound-benches will be mobile, which means they can be set up in different places and you will be able to listen to the different sounds of different scenery,” he wrote on his Facebook page. Some of the lenses will be on land while others will be able to be located on water.
The novel idea, which has benefited from EU funding, has won the backing of organisations supporting development along the banks of Poland’s second longest river.
“We want to ‘sell’ our natural assets in an attractive way, other than just creating paths, of which we have many,” said Jarosław Paczkowski, president of Kraina Łęgów Odrzańskie, an association advocating for a balanced development of rural areas along a stretch of the Odra valley and one of the partners in the project. “We have focused on sounds and the music of nature.”
The sound-benches are not the only project involving the Odra and sound Zygmunt is involved in.
He is currently working on an album based on a “sound journey” he took along the river from the Czech border to the Baltic coast.