Wearing this helmet allows you to experience 3-D sound in two ways at once: by listening to the sounds with your ears, and by feeling vibrotactile stimulations that are mediated through your scull. 

Our experience of sound is not only about hearing and listening. “Klanghelm / Sonic Helmet” is a wearable sonic object, intended to be worn on the head. A three-channel sound system creates an intimate three-dimensional sound field and vibrotactile stimuli on your skull. Several sound artists and electroacoustic musicians have contributed their compositions for the Sonic Helmet. 

This work deals with the issue of intersensory sonic perception. It is more an object than an installation, as the object itself creates the audio-tactile sonic experience without the sound being mediated into a the surrounding space. The Sonic Helmet enables the audience to experience sound composition through the sense of hearing as well as through the sense of touch. The sound is played just next to your your ears and this vibroacoustic stimulation is mediated directly to your skull. The SonicHelmet could be called a true ‘headphone’, as it involves the whole head: The sound is mediated through the head (skull) physically, in addition to transmitting it via the air, so that the multi-modal aspect of the sound is perceived. The Sonic Helmet has a unique playback of the three-dimensional sonic field – not only in a horizontal way, but also vertical. Overall, the vibroacoustic stimulation supports another layer of sonic reality. 

Satoshi invites electroacoustic musicians to create new pieces for this intimate audio-tactile sound experience of the SonicHelmet and some of these will be featured at the SID exhibition.

Biography

Satoshi Morita (1974, born in Tokyo) deals with the issue of “bodily listening” in his practice, and focusses on multimodal aspect of sound, which involves auditory and tactile perception. A series of sonic objects produced by him create a multi-modal sonic experience of the inner (kinaesthetic) and outer (auditory) spaces of the body. 

Tactile information is sensed by mechanoreceptors on different parts of the body and transmitted to the brain via the spinal cord and neural network. Different to the other sensory modalities, tactile perception responds to receptor input from nearly the entire corpus. The multi-channel sound system used in Satoshi's work provides tactile stimuli by vibrotactile transducers on different locations of the body, as well as creating a three-dimensional sound field for the auditory channel. Sound material for the sonic objects are composed to gain corporeal sensitivity for audio-tactile perception regarding musical parameters such as frequency, intensity, rhythm, etc.

His experience at different artist-in-residence programs gave him opportunities to observe the diversity and uniqueness of sound in the environment, for instance as Nodar artist in residence in Portugal (2009). 

Satoshi's works won several prizes, such as a Honorary Mention from Prix Ars Electronica (2008). His works have been exhibited internationally including; BIORHYTHM – Music and the Body, Dublin, (2010), Sound Travels, NAISA, Toronto (2010), Device_art 3.010, Tokyo (2010), Kapelica Gallery, Ljubljana (2010), CyberArts 08- Ars Electronica, Linz (2008), paraflows 08, Vienna (2008), Touch Me Festival, Zagreb, (2008). 

References

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