Matthew Edwards, BArch/08, MArch/11, wants you to tap in to sonic spaces. The intern architect was part of a group of electronic artists who created Polylectures, a city soundtrack for self-guided explorers
Words such as “rhythm” and “harmony” act as mediators between the worlds of architecture and music, according to Matthew Edwards. They speak to the feel of a building and to the construction of a song. That was the starting point for him as he was researching 10 buildings in Ottawa’s downtown core that form the route for the 45-minute sound walk. He gave a chunk of inspirational text to musicians including J’envoie, A Tribe Called Red, Kingdom Shore, My Dad Vs. Yours and Adam Saikaley, BMus/08. They, in turn, created original works inspired by buildings such as the Bank of Canada, St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, the convention centre and the 240 Sparks Street complex.
The project was led by musician Antoine Bedard (aka Montag), who produced a similar walk in his home city of Montreal. As part of his research, he explored the connection between sound and architecture. So, is it direct? Can you assign a backbeat to a brick wall? Not quite, he says, but “you can use a lot of reverberation to invoke spacious places.”
Sound is another dimension of the city, says Edwards. “We can enhance our overall experience by incorporating more than what we see with our eyes. There are many ways to see.”
Polylectures will be available for download through Artengine.ca and on borrowable MP3 players from the Bytown Museum (at the Rideau Canal locks, between Parliament Hill and the Château Laurier) from November 22 to 27.