Signal Strength, publicly transmitted acoustic proximity


The subway is an “in-transit” zone, although more and more people feel it to be a space continuous with “outside” life, thanks to the visual continuity guaranteed by their interconnected screens. Street musicians who spend most of their time in the subway are more subject to a presence/absence relationship with the urban fabric. Their presence is generally not acknowledged in a stable sense (usually perceived only for a few seconds by passersby). In “Signal Strength” by Chris Shimojima nine ‘subway musicians’ in respective subway stations were asked to skype a score via public wifi to computers placed on nine seats in Bryant Park on a Sunday morning. Here composer Ljova conducted them and sent back a click track, while trying to compensate for network latency (more sensitive when trains were passing). Public wifi was then used to carry the sounds between the performers, letting transmitted space permeate subway walls through shared time and coordinated sounds.




Ljova – Signal Strength