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Sound Horizons

August 5, 2023 - January 28, 2024

Sound Horizons

Exploring the Sonic Frontiers of Data-Driven Artistry

Presented by the City of Alexandria’s Office of the Arts and Virginia Tech’s Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT).

Step into the captivating world of sound and experience the cutting-edge Sound Horizons exhibition. Nestled within this immersive display is a tesseract housing four distinct sound pieces that will ignite your senses and transport you to new realms of auditory enjoyment.

Each sound piece represents a different facet of the human experience, drawing inspiration from cybersecurity data, the time between morning and night, things one wishes they told their younger selves, and the mysteries of the neural mechanisms at play in individuals with Alzheimer’s Disease when they listen to or engage in music making.

As you enter the tesseract, let the sounds wash over you and immerse yourself in the artistic expression of these audio landscapes. This immersive exhibition challenges conventional perceptions of art and showcases the boundless possibilities that sound can offer.

The exhibition includes four video, sound, and time based artworks by professional staff, students, and colleagues at Virginia Tech University selected for Alexandria and the surrounding region.

“Musical Connection”, Joanna Culligan, Trish Winter, Brandon Hale, Tanner Upthegrove, 2 minutes, Audio and Video, 2022,
“Musical Connection”, Joanna Culligan, Trish Winter, Brandon Hale, Tanner Upthegrove, 2 minutes, Audio and Video, 2022,

Dear Younger Me

5 minutes, Audio and Video, 2023

Dear Younger Me is a transformative project dedicated to creating healing spaces and opportunities for Black women to engage in self-compassion, community building, and personal growth. Our mission is to address the inner child while providing models of empowerment for Black women and girls. This installation incorporates the reading of letters written by the women to their younger selves while they are accompanied by a composition created from individual pulse oximetry and electrodermal activity (EDA) data recorded during the readings. Visitors are transported to a world that affirms and celebrates Black womanhood and reminds them of their inner resilience.

Keisha V. Thompson, Jada Hoffman, Gilette B., Adele,Ben Knapp, Dacia Kings, Tianyu Ge, Eric Lyon, Geefa Adane, Sydney Johnson, Meaghan Dee, Andraé L., Brown & Tilandra Rhyne

Liminal Spaces

14 minutes, Audio, 2022

Liminal Spaces is a 14-minute fixed-media and ethereal sound composition that transcends the boundaries of time and space, delving into the perplexing moments that exist between near and far, calm and storm, morning and night, and the interplay of what was and what will come next. Through an intricate fusion of ambient soundscapes, evocative melodies, and captivating rhythms, this audio composition takes you on a mesmerizing journey through the realms of transition and transformation to experience music in an unprecedented way only the Tesseract can allow for.

Ben Knapp, Eric Lyon, Natasha Staley,Tanner Upthegrove, Brandon Hale, Gustavo Araoz

Sonification of Cybersecurity Data

6 minutes, Audio, 2021, 2022

Sonification of Cybersecurity Data is a mesmerizing audio piece that transforms complex cybersecurity data into a digital symphony of sound directly connected to anomaly detection, “attack and defend” scenarios, and the dynamics of viral distribution, all fields in cybersecurity research. Composers Brandon Hale and Tanner Upthegrove reimagine and depict Distributed Denial of Service attacks (DDoS) through the innate human ability to detect auditory patterns, both temporally and spatially. With this musical arrangement, you are at the center of a cybersecurity attack where each sound is either a piece of data or an attack.

Brandon Hale, Tanner Upthegrove

Musical Connection

2 minutes, Audio and Video, 2022

Through an artistic blend of neuroscience, music therapy, and cutting-edge sonification technology, Musical Connection installation sheds light on the uncharted neural territories that music traverses when people engage in music-making. You hear audio generated from electroencephalography (EEG) data in a sonification process. This audio is spatialized around the listener to display the data from sensors worn by a Music Therapist, overlayed with audio from a trial music therapy session with research assistants from Virginia Tech. Applying the same process, researchers seek to uncover how music-making impacts behavioral and interpersonal neural synchrony between persons living with Alzheimer’s Disease and their caregivers.

Joanna Culligan, Trish Winter, Brandon Hale, Tanner Upthegrove

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Virginia Tech Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology

Powered by advanced technology and networks of creative people, the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT) brings together and supports teams of faculty and students from across academic disciplines to address grand challenges and creative opportunities, ranging from large societal problems to industry-specific issues to the frontiers of artistic expression.

City of Alexandria Office of the Arts

The Office of The Arts promotes the value of arts and culture in Alexandria by nurturing, investing in and celebrating the creative contributions of artists and arts organizations. Through engaging the community, encouraging participation, and facilitating access to the arts, the Office of the Arts works with local artists and arts organizations to build a vibrant community for all of the City’s residents, workers and visitors.