5000 miles, Ithaca

2020 forced us to stay at home, confined to our own little corner of the world.

5,000 miles by Ithaca is an immersive 360-degree audio experience that transports you to another place through the evocative sounds of another country and culture.

Audiences were invited to listen as locations change, conversations swirl and busy streets envelope them, in this atmospheric installation that uses spatial audio technology and ambisonic 3D recording to take audiences on a trip across the globe.

The immersive 360-degree audio experience toured to Brighton, Hull and Lincoln throughout 2021. Ithaca brought a brand new version of 5000 miles to Frequency Festival 2021, premiering a new lightscape to complement the immersive audio installation at St Peter at Gowts Church, Lincoln.

5000 miles is a ten-minute audio experience that takes in the sounds of six different locations in Taiwan and Thailand, as local people describe their feelings about the places that you are listening to.

At Doi Suthep temple in Thailand, a local visitor described the comfort they get from visiting:

“The temple, it means a lot for the Thai Buddhists, even me because I’m a Buddhist as well. Many times when I feel upset or I feel something is not right with my life, I have to go to the temple because it means something to me – it means a lot sometimes. Normally offering the food to the monk, have a monk share it, or even doing meditation that could make me feel a lot better and also it makes me feel happy when you can do something for somebody else, you know, make a good thing for your life and for somebody else’s life as well.”

In the mountainous jungle terrain of the Nanatou Mountains in Taiwan the recordist spoke to a local resident who emphasised the importance of the sounds and wildlife to them:

“I really love this place. When I first came here I didn’t even want to sleep – I just sat outside, watched the stars, the moon and listened to the sound of nature. I still love this space. I’m even loving it more and more because I feel, besides just the beauty of nature, I feel I become good friends with the animals here. The tree climbing lizards who watch me through the windows. And I can hear many, many sounds – from nature. The sounds of eagles, the sounds of frogs after rains. Probably hundreds or thousands of frogs together. The sound of calling. And the sounds of cicadas, the sounds of bird calls. Wow. It’s so good, wonderful to live in the mountains. I feel completely enriched here.”

 

The locations featured in 5,000 Miles are:

  • Taiwan – Nanatou Mountains (The sounds of the mountainous jungle terrain of Nanatou at dawn)
  • Taiwan – Lungshan Temple (The early morning sounds of Lungshan Temple at 6AM)
  • Taiwan – Wulai Old Street, Taipei (The sounds of everyday life on Wulai Old Street, Taipei)
  • Thailand – Doi Suthep Temple (The sounds of nature surrounding the site of Doi Suthep Temple in Thailand)
  • Thailand – Announcement over small town tannoy system
  • Thailand – Fields surrounding Chiang Mai

Thailand recordist: Alex Boyesen

Taiwan recordist: James A Holland

 

About the Artist

5000 miles is a multimedia collaboration with Ithaca Studio and Cities and Memory.

Ithaca Studio is a Brighton-based company of light artists, sound designers, composers, editors and experimenters that combines art, music and technology to create innovative experiences with sound and light.

In 2021, Ithaca’s award-winning work spectacularly lit up the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury for Coldplay.

Cities and Memory is one of the world’s largest sound projects, with more than 1,000 artists contributing to our goal of remixing the world, one sound at a time.

Encompassing field recording, sound art and sound mapping, every location on the Cities and Memory sound map features two sounds: the original field recording of that place, and a reimagined sound that presents that place and time as somewhere else, somewhere new.

Listen to the sound recordings as a complementary online binaural exploration: citiesandmemory.com/5000-miles/

About the Commission

5,000 miles is commissioned by Threshold Studios, Freedom Festival Arts Trust and Brighton Digital Festival (Lighthouse). It is supported by funding bodies Arts Council England and Re-Imagine Europe. Lighthouse is the UK partner for Re-Imagine Europe, which is co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union.

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